President Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, Chairman of the South Centre

South Centre is committed to support G-77 and NAM, says President Nyerere

New York - 26 May 1997 (G-77) The Chairman of the South Centre, Julius K. Nyerere, addressed the Group of 77 on May 21, during his recent visit to New York. In his address to the Group of 77, President Nyerere said that the South Centre is committed to support G-77 and NAM. He underlined the importance of collective action of the developing countries in international fora and called on the G-77 member governments to exercise to the full the potential of their collective influence on the global scene by working more effectively and closely together.

Mr. Nyerere also used the opportunity to brief the delegations on the current activities of the South Centre. He highlighted the fledgling three-year project on globalisation and the South, and noted that the centre will bring together the best minds in the South to analyze the process of globalisation and its impacts on the South.

He called on the G-77 member governments to contribute to the Capital Fund of the Centre so that the Centre could become financially self-sustainable soonest. He noted that the existing very small staff had to be expanded, which was contingent on the availability of adequate resources. It is overburdened by the substantive and management work, and it is experiencing difficulties in responding to the many requests for assistance. He also noted the need to publicise and diffuse more effectively the work of the Centre, and informed the delegations that the Centre will shortly have a home page on the Internet.

An animated exchange of views followed, with a number of delegates commending the work of the Centre, especially the direct and indirect support that it had given to the Group of 77 New York Chapter, including that on the subject of UN reform. A number of suggestions were made for improved South-South cooperation and the Centre was encouraged to build up its activities and diversify its functions.

The South Centre Agreement was opened for signature in September 1994 on the occasion of the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 held in New York under the chairmanship of Algeria. The Centre is the first intergovernmental institution of the South of its kind at the global level. Constituting an additional mechanism to facilitate and promote South-South co-operation on a South-wide basis, the South Centre has the following among its central objectives:

To contribute to South-wide collaboration in promoting common interests and coordinated participation by developing countries in international forums dealing with South-South and North-South matters, as well as with other global concerns;

- To foster convergent views and approaches among countries of the South with respect to global economic, political and strategic issues related to evolving concepts of development, sovereignty and security;

- To contribute to better mutual understanding and co-operation between the South and the North on the basis of equity and justice for all and, to this end, to the democratization and strengthening of the United Nations and its family of organizations.

So as to be able to pursue these objectives effectively, and without aiming to be a Secretariat, the South Centre has been established as an intergovernmental body of developing countries which enjoys full intellectual independence.

The South Centre works for the benefit of the South as a whole, making efforts to ensure that all developing countries and interested groups and persons have access to the Centre’s publications and the results of its work, irrespective of membership.

The following countries have signed and ratified the Agreement of the South Centre: Algeria, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.