Tuesday, March 10, 2009

South Centre briefs senior developing country officials from trade and commerce ministry

Mr. Offah Obale and Ms. Wase Musonge today briefed around 12 senior officials from trade and commerce ministries from several developing countries to acquaint them with complex multilateral trade workings. These senior officials were visiting the South Centre as a part of AITIC’s capacity-building programmes, namely the Official Fellowship and Professional Training Programme.

Mr. Offah provided them with an overview of the South Centre activities, including those related to trade for development programme, namely WTO and EPA negotiations. This was complemented by Ms. Musonge who touched upon several other issues including regional issues concerning trade, migration and employment.

Over the years, this briefing has emerged as a joint collaboration between the South Centre and AITIC.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

EPA General Exceptions undermine WTO negotiations on commodities

Peter Lunenborg, Trade for Development Programme, South Centre, has his piece "EPA General Exceptions undermine WTO negotiations on commodities" published in the Trade Negotiations Insights. Volume 8, Number 2, March 2009.

The article is available from: http://ictsd.net/i/news/tni/42025/

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

South Centre organises workshop on EPAs in Angola

The Trade for Development Programme, South Centre is organising a workshop on EPAs on 4 -5 March 2009 in collaboration with Ministry of Trade, Angola. The resource person include Ms. Aileen Kwa, Coordinator, and Mr. Offah Obale, Programme Officer, Trade for Development Programme. The keynote address is to be delivered by Minister of Trade, Angola.

More information at: http://www.southcentre.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=974&Itemid=77

Working Lunch Meeting with WTO Delegates

The Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP) , South Centre organised a working lunch meeting for the WTO delegates on 27 February 2009

The objective of this meeting was for developing country delegates to discuss and prepare for the upcoming meetings of the TRIPS Council on 3-4 March (regular session) and 5 March (special session).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dr. Devaki Jain, Member of erstwhile South Commission visits South Centre

Dr. Devaki Jain, Member of the erstwhile South Commission today visited the South Centre to get briefed on the activities being taken up the South Centre and to share her experiences and insights from the South Commission period.

Apart from meeting some of the staff Members, she also met with Mr. Martin Khor, the Executive Director of the South Centre to exchange views on a range of issues, including on financial crisis, human rights and on strengthening the intellectual network withinn the South.

2nd March: Mr. Martin Khor joins as the new Executive Director of the South Centre

2 March: Today, Mr. Martin Khor spent his first day in the office as the Executive Director of the South Centre. He was given a warm welcome by all the staff members who introduced themselves and wished him well in his new role. Mr. Khor also took this opportunity to brief all the staff members on his vision and the role he sees for the South Centre, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Prior to joining South Centre, Mr. Khor served as the Director of the Third World Network, a leading developing-country civil society organization involved in research and publications in trade, environment and development issues. He is the editor of the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS) and a member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy.

Mr. Khor replaces Dr. Yash Tandon who successfully completed his term as the Executive Director of the Centre from 1 March 2005 to 28 February 2009.

South Centre @ African Information Ethics Workshop, Pretoria

Vikas Nath, Head - Media and Communications, South Centre delivered the plenary address at the workshop on African Information Ethics and E-Governance, organised by the Government of South Africa and UNESCO in Pretoria, South Africa from 23 -27 February 2009.

The presentation delivered briefed the audience on case-studies picked out from several developing countries.

South Centre @ UNCTAD-ICTSD workshop on WTO US -China Panel Report - Geneva, 23 February 2009

Dr. Xuan Li, Coordinator, Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme of the South Centre, made a presentation on "US-China case: Implications for the protection and enforcement of IPRs in China" at UNCTAD-ICTSD workshop on WTO US -China Panel Report, Geneva, 23 February 2009.

Her presentation can be downloaded from here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

South Centre Cautions African Countries when Approaching Economic Partnership Agreements

The way EPA has been conceived, based on the requirement for reciprocal market opening with the European Union (EU), is likely to bring more losses than gains for Africa. The gains are not much, as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which make up 34 out of 47 African countries negotiating the EPAs, can avail of the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential scheme of the EU. And the value of the preferences African countries will reap from an EPA will essentially become nil in about 5 to 10 years. It is of vital importance for developing and the least developed countries, that the options for industrialisation for future generations are not foreclosed.

Read the press release at:


South Centre @ CONNEXION: The Career Forum

Ms. Xuan Zhang and Mr. Ranson Lekunze from South Centre represented the organisation at the "Connexion" in Geneva on 12 February 2009.

Connexion is a career forum organised by the Graduate Institute largely for its students and alumni. South Centre used this opportunity to give a presentation about the South Centre and to brief several students who were interested in internship and other work opportunities with the South Centre.