Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Working Lunch Meeting on SECURE and IP Enforcement Issues

South Centre organized Working Lunch on Tuesday, 25 November to discuss the recent Fourth SECURE Working Group Meeting and Other IP Enforcement Issues. Almost 20 delegates were present for this lunch meeting chaired by Dr. Xuan LI, Coordinator- Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme, South Centre.

During the meeting, there was a:
(i) Brief on the recent discussions at 4th SECURE Working Group meeting held on 30-31October 2008;
(ii) Strategization for the upcoming Policy Committee to be held in Argentina on 9 December 2008.

Mr. Henrique Moraes, the Brazilian delegate based in Brussels briefed the delegates on the outcome of the recent 4th SECURE Working Group meeting.

Monday, November 24, 2008

South Centre hosts Meeting of Delegates for possible upcoming WTO mini-Ministerial

South Centre hosted a meeting of delegates from developing countries to have a dialogue and discuss common strategies regarding the possible upcoming WTO mini-Ministerial in Geneva next month. Over 20 delegates from various Developing Countries Missions to the UN participated in the meeting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ending Aid Dependence (Second Edition) launched at Chatham House

On 4 November 2008, South Centre launched the second edition of the book "Ending Aid Dependence" authored by Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director, at an event organized by the Chatham House.

Over 40 colleagues participated in the book launch which was chaired by Mr. Firoze Manji, Director, Fahamu.

The book launch was attended by over 40 colleagues. Dr. Tandon briefed the audience on some of the key messages coming out of the book and the steps needed to ending aid dependence. He also explained the innovative taxonomy presented in the book based on rainbow color to distinguish different kinds of aid, from solidarity aid (Purple) to ideological aid (Red).

On the whole, the book cautions countries of the South against falling into the aid trap and endorsing the aid agenda of the OECD – the club of rich donor countries. If endorsed, it would subject the recipients to a discipline of collective control by the donors right down to the village level. This will specially affect the donor-dependent countries, in particular the poorer and more vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Watch a short commentary below by Yash on the need for "change of mindset" that we cannot develop without aid to end Aid Dependence, recorded by the Eldis Community.

For more information on the book and to purchase a copy, go to

Yash Tandon on Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) at the Norwegian Social Forum

On 8 November 2008, Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director, South Centre participated at a seminar about bilateral investment treaties (BITs) at the Norwegian Social Forum (Globaliseringskonferansen). Other panelists included Knut Solli from NHO (the largest Norwegian business/employer organization) and Audun Lysbakken – co-chairman of the Norwegian Socialist Left party.

The Norwegian government is currently in the process of developing BIT-models to be negotiated with developing countries. NHO obviously supports these treaties which will mean better opportunities for its member companies – Tandon naturally oppose them as they will diminish the political elbow space of the governments of developing countries.

For more information, go to:

Monday, November 10, 2008

2nd Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators - Marrakech

The 2nd Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators jointly organised by South Centre and IISD was successfully held in Marrakech, Morocco, 3-4 Nov. 2008. Over 50 participants attended the Forum.

The key objective of this Forum was to update participants on key issues in the International Investment Law regime today. These include the changes in this field at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels; issues relating to the role of development policy space and home country and investor obligations; issues relating to the link between investment agreements and climate change; and other relevant topics.

South Centre was represented by Mr. Vice Yu, Mr. Offah Obale and Mr. Khalil Hamdani.

The background papers and presentations made during the Forum are available from the South Centre website at:

Crossroads debate: how will the financial crisis affect Africa?

World markets are collapsing. Can Africa withstand the impact? What can Africa learn from the failed policies of the world's wealthiest economies?

Yash Tandon, Executive Director of the South Centre participated in the panel discussion on this issue along with other panelists, namely Colm Foy, editor of African Economic Outlook at the OECD's Development Centre and Aly-Kahn Satchu, commodity trader on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, author of Anyone Can Be Rich.

Listen to the discussion at:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

African template for EPAs is endorsed – with recommendations

A continental workshop on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between European and African countries held at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ended with the endorsement of proposals towards an African template for EPA negotiations. The discussion of the proposals, which were drafted by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), was one of the key agenda items at the workshop, under the theme "Reaping the benefits of the EPAs".

South Centre was represented in this workshop.

More information: