Advancing South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable COVID-19 Recovery: Towards a Smart and Resilient Future.
The Global South-South Development Expo 2022 (GSSD Expo), organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the Government of Thailand and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), was held in Bangkok from 12th to 14th September, 2022. Several political and technical offices of the United Nations System participated in this event, as well as different national governments, multilateral and civil society organizations, and academia, mainly from countries in Asia and the Pacific.
Organized since 2008 by UNOSSC, this is the 11th edition of these annual expos and the first one to be hosted in the Asia and Pacific region. The GSSD Expo is designed to showcase evidence-based successful development solutions and initiatives created by institutions of countries from the global South to address development challenges (UNOSSC, 2022).
This year’s exhibition was organized in a hybrid format that allowed the attendance of multiple and diverse stakeholders while promoting the online participation of a wider audience, through thematic sessions and side events. One of the cross-cutting aspects of these spaces was to review and discuss development policies and capacity building efforts, identifying obstacles and corrective measures to be introduced through South-South and Triangular Cooperation methodologies at the national, regional and global levels.
In addition to the above, this Expo – held in Bangkok – addressed various purposes, placing special emphasis on national efforts to make visible and stress the importance of South-South and Triangular Cooperation as means for the implementation of the SDGs and for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, delegations from different countries and organizations shared interesting initiatives which were developed in the framework of these cooperation modalities and can contribute to tackle the most pressing global challenges: the energy and climate crisis, inflation, international conflicts and tensions, and increasing inequality, among others.
Five main conclusions were drawn after the multiple debates that took place where participants had different but complementary perspectives:
- The urgent need to promote collaborative work and a global response to worldwide challenges that particularly affect countries of the global South.
- The importance of sharing countries’ experience in finding solutions to development challenges through South-South and Triangular Cooperation and their contribution to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
- The need to include a greater number of partners and stakeholders in South-South and Triangular Cooperation initiatives, such as the private sector, academia and civil society; recognizing the contribution they are already making and making them visible.
- The relevance of increasing financial resources to leverage initiatives and solutions to countries’ development challenges.
- The advantages of strengthening and/or escalating information systems on South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
The Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB by its Spanish acronym), through the Social Cohesion and South-South Cooperation Area, participated in this event in two specific spaces related to: 1) Acknowledging of the role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in capacity building on health matters and its potential contribution to the health response to crises such as COVID-19 or similar, and 2) The experience of Ibero-American countries in registering data on Triangular Cooperation.
In addition to strengthening the exchange of experiences on specific solutions to recover from the pandemic and other challenges such as those mentioned above, this Expo contributed to the achievement of target 17.9 related to capacity building to achieve the SDGs through North-South, South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Source: UNOSSC (2022)