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Common challenges – Common solutions


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12 September 2014 – Cooperation tends to be thought of as an exclusively North-South endeavour. However, development is bolstered as much through South-South cooperation as any other form.

South-South cooperation (SSC) allows developing countries to share their knowledge and to create partnerships to address their common development challenges. These cooperative partnerships can be highly significant for development across the region, and act as an addition rather than a substitution of traditional North-South cooperation. SSC is initiated, organized and managed by the developing countries themselves.

As an inclusive initiative SSC involves Governments, active participation from public- and private-sector institutions, non-governmental organizations and individuals. These are essential to ensure successful collaboration on all levels. In addition, traditional donor countries and multilateral organisations can contribute to facilitating South-South initiatives.

Today, we celebrate the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation. On this day we recognize the importance of these cooperations, and take stock of the most pressing needs of southern states. The major economic and political transformations of the world in the last two decades have been particularly felt in the South. The changes have been more rapid than at any time during a similar span in world history.

Relationships within the South and between the South and the North have taken on entirely new dimensions. Key current issues such as the environment and climate change, energy, global poverty, and migration are today more global than North-South in nature, thus requiring a global response.

According to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the recent trend is that South-South cooperation has taken the form of increased volume of South-South trade along with a variety of other economic and material benefits. Yet, one of the most notable advantages SSC provides is the strengthening of the voice of developing countries in multilateral negotiations.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of this occasion emphasising that, “South-South and triangular cooperation offer a path to balancing growth and equity in the context of a new Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”, and he reminds all actors that South-South approaches, “will ensure shared prosperity, sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”

UNRIC’s related links:
Background on South-South Cooperation
Article on 12 Sep 2012
Global South-South Development Expo

Other related links:
United Nations South-South Cooperation Day
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
The High-level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation
At UN-backed meeting, world’s least developed countries urge partnerships to boost productive capacity


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