United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)
1. What decisions or new strategies has the governing body of your organization taken to guide the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief summary below, including the overarching vision of your governing body for the Decade of Action on the SDGs.
The overarching goal of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is to support member states to achieve the eradication of poverty in all its forms and to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment so as to achieve the 2030 Agenda through enhanced South-South cooperation, including triangular cooperation. Guided by the strategic framework of the UNOSSC (2018-2021), the UNOSSC proposes to focus on three strategic outcomes targeting:
• the advancement of policy choices for South-South and triangular cooperation and coordinated UN system support to such cooperation;
• capacity development through knowledge and experience sharing;
• the forging of strategic South-South and triangular partnerships to support demand-driven programmes
The year 2019 marked the culmination of a transformative era for South-South and triangular cooperation with the conclusion of the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March.
The BAPA+40 Outcome document highlighted that South-South cooperation has made outstanding contributions to alleviating global inequality, accelerating infrastructure construction, promoting gender equality and enriching multilateral mechanisms. Furthermore, triangular cooperation was explicitly recognized in the BAPA +40 Outcome reflecting its increasingly relevant role in the implementation of the SDGs.
Among other things, the outcome document especially singles out the importance of using SSC in agriculture and ensuring food safety. SDG 2, Zero Hunger, could be reached more efficiently if we could “leverage the role of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation as a means to promote and support industrial and semi-industrial ventures and ensure food security and nutrition, including through the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food systems, food processing agro-industries, which have the potential to link with global value chains and effectively address the market needs of developing countries”.
The document notes “the establishment of new institutions regional and global banks and funds, which will contribute to the advancement of South-South cooperation and the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and highlight the importance for these institutions to be run in a transparent and efficient way”.
Recognizing the diversity of approaches for SSC and its specific principles, the Outcome Document of the BAPA+40, in paragraph 25, encourages developing countries to develop country-led systems to evaluate and assess the quality and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation programs and improve data collection at the national level to promote cooperation in the development of methodologies and statistics to that end.
In paragraph 27 (b), the Outcome document requests the United Nations development system, within existing resources and with the approval of respective governments, to continue its support to the strengthening of relevant public research institutions, academic institutions, think tanks, knowledge networks and relevant regional or thematic centers of excellence, as institutional spaces for knowledge development and sharing on South-South and triangular cooperation initiative
Paragraph 27 (c) calls upon the United Nations Development System to assist developing countries, upon request, in building the human and institutional capacity needed to formulate and implement national development policies, strategies and programmes for South-South and triangular cooperation, including the sharing of good practices and experiences from the South, especially with the least developed countries, and in a manner consistent with their mandates and strategic plans, and to encourage the transfer of technologies on mutually agreed terms for the benefit of developing countries to address poverty eradication and sustainable development
Finally, paragraph 27 (j) urges the United Nations system to continue its support to regional and subregional organizations for the continued promotion of transparent, sustainable and accountable development practices, and to enable more partnerships, with a view to promoting and scaling up best practices to benefit developing countries.
The document also recognized that the shortage of resources continues to hinder the expansion of South-South and triangular cooperation and underscored the need to further mobilize resources from all sources — public, private, domestic and international. It called on borrowers and creditors to also address challenges linked to debt sustainability as a matter of priority, in order to prevent a negative impact on long-term development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
In paragraph 31 (a) the Outcome document, also urges the United Nations system to continue its support to regional and subregional organizations for the continued promotion of transparent, sustainable and accountable development practices, and to enable more partnerships, with a view to promoting and scaling up best practices to benefit developing countries.
2. At the secretariat level, what steps has your organization taken (or will it take) in the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please specify actions, including but not limited to the following areas:
2.1 SDG-specific strategies, plans or work programmes;
The UNOSSC provided secretariat and policy support to intergovernmental bodies and United Nations entities to make informed and coherent decisions, including the provision of analytical reporting on South-South cooperation, in the following areas, among others: Support for policy dialogues and intergovernmental processes, including BAPA+40 Conference; Coordination of coherent United Nations system support to South-South and triangular cooperation, including preparation of the United Nations system-wide South- South cooperation strategy; and Galvanizing the international community to follow up on BAPA+40 recommendations.
With the aim of supporting and facilitating exchanges, peer learning and partnerships among the practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation, UNOSSC organized the eleventh High-level Forum of Directors General for Development Cooperation (DG Forum) in Istanbul on 13 December 2019 with the collaboration and support of IsDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency and in coordination with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency. The overall theme of the forum was “Charting the post- BAPA+40 roadmap for South-South and triangular cooperation: Towards effective institutionalization of South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development”. Bringing together heads of development cooperation agencies and institutions and other partners, it provided an opportunity for practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation to reflect and exchange views on ways and approaches to implement the recommendations of the BAPA+40 outcome document. Forum participants committed to further strengthening the institutionalization of South-South and triangular cooperation, assessing the results, and promoting an inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach to implement the BAPA+40 recommendations. The DG Forum resulted in concrete recommendations for the post-BAPA+40 roadmap.
South-South Galaxy was launched globally during the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, which was attended by the Secretary-General and the UNDP Administrator. Within three months of its global launch, South-South Galaxy had established itself as a fast-growing global repository of solutions and resources on South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation from over 180 registered institutions. South-South Galaxy serves as a connector and a consolidated South-South solutions platform for Southern partners in the United Nations system. The platform complements and connects, rather than substitutes for or duplicates, existing national and regional institutional arrangements. It acts as a one-stop shop for partners to search, communicate and share solutions in order to address common challenges, and as a matchmaker by connecting solution providers and seekers. Southern countries and interested development partners can locate concrete cases, share their knowledge and initiatives, collaborate with potential partners digitally and explore funding opportunities. Through its research arm, the platform is connecting governments, experts and think tanks to ensure that Southern perspectives and insights are included in mainstream policy dialogues.
Beyond expanded knowledge-sharing and research development, UNOSSC also supported developing countries in capacity development through convening and facilitating learning programmes, capacity development workshops and the provision of advisory services.
2.2 Aligning the structure of the organization with the SDGs and the transformative features of the 2030 Agenda, including any challenges and lessons learned in doing so;
The Secretary-General, in his report on the state of South-South cooperation to the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, had requested UNOSSC “to coordinate, in consultation with the United Nations agencies, the preparation of a United Nations system- wide South-South cooperation strategy.”
In consultation with over 40 United Nations entities at the global and regional levels, UNOSSC launched, under its coordination within the United Nations Inter-Agency Mechanism for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, the preparation of the strategy for more coherent and coordinated support by the United Nations system to South-South and triangular cooperation. A Drafting Committee, composed of 20 United Nations entities and coordinated by UNOSSC, led the process of drafting the strategy. During the second half of 2019, intensive coordination work for the preparation of the strategy was undertaken within that Inter-Agency Mechanism.
The strategy will provide a system-wide policy orientation to United Nations entities in order to galvanize a coordinated, coherent approach to the policy and programmatic work of the United Nations system on South-South and triangular cooperation. Through the implementation of this strategy, United Nations system entities will be better positioned to coordinate and harmonize policies, and operational and programmatic work on South-South and triangular cooperation at global, regional and country levels with the aim of supporting the national priorities of countries of the South, under national ownership and leadership.
Furthermore, UNOSSC in 2019 focused on post BAPA+40 dialogues in order to move forward in implementing the BAPA+40 Outcome.
2.3 Readjusting or updating results-based budgeting and management, including performance indicators;
2.4 Action to enhance support to the principle of "leaving no one behind" and to integrated policy approaches;
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund established in 2017, has an ambitious agenda of promoting multilateralism and shared prosperity. The Fund project portfolio aims to contribute to the efforts of developing countries towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and accepts submissions and supports projects that contribute to any and all SDGs and targets. The Fund responds directly to the national priorities and development objectives of partner countries, contributing financial resources and technical knowledge to support partner governments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Fund now encompasses 36 projects, approved in partnership with nine United Nations agencies in 37 countries. It has made significant strides in advancing the national development goals and commitments of the 2030 Agenda in the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) by enlisting the global presence and operational capabilities of the United Nations system.
2.5 Action to address the interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;
3. What normative, analytical, technical assistance or capacity building activities is your organization providing to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief account of the activities you have organized or intend to undertake, including but not limited to the following areas:
3.1 Enhancing national implementation including by supporting the mainstreaming of the SDGs in development plans and policies or through national sustainable development plans/strategies;
Under umbrella of the joint IFAD-IsDB-UNOSSC partnership initiative on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Food Security (SSTC-ADFS) UNOSSC regional division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS supported development of national level policy instruments aimed at advancing South-South cooperation in agriculture to achieve SDGs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 15. As a result, 6 country-level policy documents were produced upon demand from the participating countries:
• Draft National Strategy of Agriculture Development in Kyrgyzstan;
• Needs Assessment in Agricultural Development in Kyrgyzstan;
• Draft SSC in Agriculture in Uzbekistan;
• SSC needs and opportunities assessment in Uzbekistan;
• SSC Strategy in Agricultural Sector in Sudan;
• PPP in Agriculture in Sudan.
3.2 Mainstreaming the SDGs in sectoral strategies, including specific SDG/target strategies;
3.3 Supporting the strengthening of national institutions for more integrated solutions;
UNOSSC regional division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS partnered with 10 countries to conduct the most comprehensive surveys on trends and opportunities in advancing South-South and triangular cooperation. These stocktaking exercises were conducted in close consultation and coordination with national authorities and UNCT, and provided a valuable tool in identifying relevant South- South cooperation frameworks, their characteristics, success, challenges and opportunities. It also shed light on the available resources, relevant actors, as well as the legal and institutional frameworks in these countries.
3.4 Data and statistical capacity building;
3.5 Harnessing science, technology and innovation for the SDGs;
The UNOSSC has been exploring innovative approaches to further enhance South-South cooperation and partnership by harassing technology and innovation, particularly digital tools. One example of using science, technology and innovation for the SDGs is the South-South Galaxy.
UNOSSC, along with its development partners, has developed a global knowledge-sharing and partnership-brokering platform, South- South Galaxy. It has contributed towards expanding opportunities and eliminating a barrier to entry for many southern partners in accessing a reliable and diverse range of knowledge, information and partners. One of its distinct functions is the integration of artificial intelligence, which enables the platform to “learn” about the interests and behaviour of its users to provide the most relevant content, real-time data and solutions in order to enhance user experience.
3.6 Multi-stakeholder partnerships;
In 2019, as a follow-up to BAPA+40, UNOSSC continued its efforts to build South-South and triangular partnerships either by forging new ones or reinforcing those already in existence. The Office also launched and implemented several demand-driven programmes in response to the priority issues of developing countries. For example:
- Supported by the UNOSSC Youth4South initiative, the SSTC Silk Road Cities Project and the GSSDC Project, close to 500 development practitioners and youth entrepreneurs from more than 50 developing countries were engaged and trained in 2019 in areas such as agricultural advancement, rural development, small hydro development, entrepreneurship, innovation and e-commerce. Such a result was achieved through joint efforts and pooled resources from many governments, intergovernmental organization and civil society organization partners, including the Government of China, the Government of Madagascar, the Government of Turkey, AUC, the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), the China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture, the China-Africa Business Council, the China Association of Trade in Services, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, the International Centre on Small Hydro Power, Phoenix TV, the Shenzhen Youth Federation, UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the World Food (WFP) Centre of Excellence in China and the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.
- Under the Youth4South initiative, UNOSSC also launched the Youth Entrepreneurship for the South (YES) programme at the Youth Climate Summit during the General Assembly in September 2019, with support from the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the Shenzhen Youth Federation and AUC. Fifty fully funded one-month internship opportunities for African youth entrepreneurs were announced under YES with support from the Shenzhen Youth Federation; it is anticipated that 50 internships will be available annually. During the November 2019 International Youth Innovation Conference in Shenzhen, China, 28 young entrepreneurs from 20 countries in Africa, Arab States, and Asia and the Pacific regions were nominated by UNDP, UNFPA and AUC. They had an opportunity to pitch their initiatives and network with entrepreneurs, potential investors and partners. Thereafter, eight selected initiatives were entered in the Matchmaking Scaling Up of Youth-led Good Practices Competition. Winners of the competition had access to prizes of up to $10,000 in seed funding from the Shenzhen Youth Federation and mentorship opportunities. The UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific also partnered with institutions from Hong Kong, China, to deliver an entrepreneurship academy to meet learning demands from young people from Asia and Africa to develop entrepreneurship ideas.
- Under the SSTC Silk Road Cities Project, three demand-driven needs assessments were conducted in Khajura (Nepal), Chust (Uzbekistan) and New-Koidu (Sierra Leone) in close coordination with the respective UNDP country offices, WFP, UN-Habitat and the Economic Community of West African States, focusing on the needs of the cities for agriculture supply-chain development, waste management and infrastructure development. The SSTC Silk Road Cities Project also supported advocacy and outreach efforts towards the concept of sectoral and thematic cooperation among cities in developing countries. In 2019, several important focus areas were identified and advocated among potential city partners to mobilize support, including urban-rural integration, e-commerce, sustainable transport (civil aviation, port, logistics), waste management, smart and green cities, sustainable tourism and the creative economy, business, investment and trade, and resilient cities.
- With regard to promoting triangular cooperation, UNOSSC, as a member of the core group of the Global Partnership Initiative on Effective Triangular Cooperation, provided technical advice to that initiative, which formulated the voluntary guidelines for effective triangular cooperation. The initiative, referred to in the BAPA+40 outcome document, aims to bring together different development stakeholders to better situate triangular cooperation in the current development landscape.
- UNOSSC is working closely with the Alliance of NGOs and CSOs for South-South Cooperation, an international network of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs), to enhance the understanding by civil society of the value of South-South cooperation in developmental, humanitarian and related spheres.
- UNOSSC has a standing programme with the AUC Department of Economic Affairs to promote the development of South-South private investment and the African private sector. It organized the 11th African Private Sector Forum in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in October 2019. UNOSSC, in partnership with OIF and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, is supporting the revitalization of industries of the LDCs in Africa, especially those LDCs that have experienced conflicts. The Bangui Economic Forum was organized in December 2019 with that intent. UNOSSC and OIF also organized the first meeting between two high-level delegations of AUC and ASEAN, led, respectively, by the African Union Commissioner and a Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN.
3.7 Bolstering local action and supporting sub-national plans/strategies and implementation for the SDGs;
Through its regional offices, UNOSSC has supported countries, subregional and regional institutions to document, share and adapt South-South policies and practices in strengthening regional integration efforts.
• In the Asia and the Pacific region, UNOSSC co-published a report with the ASEAN Secretariat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, entitled Mapping South-South Cooperation in ASEAN.
• UNOSSC partnered with the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) and launched the South-South in Action outlining the rationale and foundations of the creation of PIDF as a “South-South” institution, its values and projects.
• In Africa, UNOSSC, working with the Department of Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission on the illicit financial flows (IFFs) in Africa, and released a publication on that issue in 2019.
• In the Arab States and Europe/CIS region, 91 development solutions were sourced, documented and made available through the South-South Galaxy including a dedicated collection in the field of green agriculture. UNOSSC further disseminated the knowledge through organizing a special session as part of the 2019 Europe/CIS Regional Ministerial Conference on Green Economy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
3.8 Leveraging interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;
3.9 Supporting policies and strategies to leave no one behind;
UNOSSC, along with its development partners, developed 10 volumes in the series South-South in Action along with other knowledge products. These reports provide partners with a platform for the dissemination of their policies, initiatives and activities that have led to the achievement of some of their development goals through South-South and triangular cooperation. Such publications also provide countries or organizations with an opportunity to distil and then present their own perceptions of their successful undertakings, initiatives, policies and/or activities. The South-South in Action series also offers development partners a window on opportunities for collaboration that exist in the South.
3.10 Supporting the mobilization of adequate and well-directed financing;
The UNOSSC-managed funds (IBSA Fund, and the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. UNOSSC also supported the management of the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation, which implements projects through UNDP, upon approval of the Group of 77 and China) have supported development projects in many developing countries across Africa, the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America, with an emphasis on poverty reduction, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and leveraging South-South cooperation. Preferential emphasis has been on LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS – attempting to reach those most vulnerable first and the goal of leaving no one behind.
The key results of the IBSA Fund projects that were implemented in 2019 include an e-learning project in Viet Nam to improve health- care coverage and quality in the northern coastal region that has proven to be successful and sustainable in reaching health-care workers in remote medical settings and is now being used to respond to COVID-19. In Cambodia, a youth-focused poverty reduction project helped to improve youth volunteers’ skill sets for increased employability, which resulted in over 4,000 youth (58 per cent female) gaining knowledge to help to prepare for a future as socially responsible entrepreneurs. In Fiji, a project to empower women contributed to improving the livelihoods and health of over 1,300 rural women through the adoption of a new environmentally friendly and energy-efficient cooking method using rocket stoves. In Kiribati, an inclusive, sustainable, economic development project helped to develop a National Coconut-sector Development Strategy to improve the livelihoods of smallholders. From its inception in 2006 to 2019, the IBSA Fund received $37 million in revenue and delivered $31 million through 31 unique development projects focusing on poverty and hunger alleviation in 21 developing countries. In 2019, IBSA Fund project delivery totaled $2.55 million.
Key results of selected India-UN Development Partnership Fund projects implemented through 2019 include:
a. In Chad, small irrigation works, such as drainage and dikes, were erected for the rehabilitation of lowlands. The capacities of local farmer groups were also enhanced through the setting up of a nursery and support for harvesting local seeds to restore degraded lands;
b. In Grenada, the Mount Horne Child Development Centre was built to provide early childhood education to underprivileged families. Once the facilities were completed, staff were recruited and onboarded;
c. In Eswatini, people-centred, data-informed strategies to eradicate poverty were formulated through a participatory poverty assessment, which was conducted in consultation with 220 chiefdoms;
d. In Liberia, an educational resource centre comprising 6 reading rooms was built in remote Rivercess County. It opened its doors in support of the literacy of 300 students, including computer skills;
e. In Mauritania, 11 reproductive health centres in Nouakchott were refurbished and equipped with non-medical and sanitary materials. The midwives and health professionals servicing those centres also improved their skills through tailored training in newborn delivery, in neonatal practices and in providing care to mothers; and
f. In Papua New Guinea, a Centre for Excellence on Information Technology was established as a flagship programme of the University of Papua New Guinea. A building was refurbished and extensively equipped with ICT technologies. Benefiting from additional lecturers-in-residence from India, the Centre started offering courses to local students as well as students from other Pacific countries.
The Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund supported 18 additional small grants projects in 2019. Notable results of projects under implementation in 2019 include (a) the production of a collaborative research study and policy recommendations for the systematization of experiences that promote the permanence, re-entry and completion of secondary education in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and (b) the enhancement of the capacities of 17 Vietnamese and 23 Cambodian government officials and technical experts to support their small and medium-sized enterprises to increase their e-commerce activities.
The results of the selected innovative demand-driven programmes under UNFSSC in 2019 include the help provided by the Republic of Korea institutions through the Republic of Korea-UNOSSC Facility to the Government of Indonesia to add the dimension of an integrated village development approach in one of the Districts in Java. The support of the Republic of Korea institutions focused on delivering sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, clean water, school and community health, ICT for women business and economic development, and entrepreneurship training. Based on the pilot in Sukabumi District and the Government’s Village Innovation Programme, the Government of Indonesia and UNOSSC will be launching a Centre of Excellence for Village Innovation in 2020. The facility helped the Sukabumi Regency of West Java Province in Indonesia to develop a local health education curriculum for middle school and for high school, which is being piloted in six schools. The Government has already seconded two staff members to UNOSSC to enhance South-South cooperation.
The Republic of Korea-UNOSSC Facility helped the Sukabumi Regency of West Java Province in Indonesia to develop a local health education curriculum for middle school and high school, which is being piloted in six schools for potential scaling up. The Facility further helped to establish and operationalize a Centre of Excellence for Innovative Village Development in Indonesia, which aims to expand development cooperation partnerships between Indonesia and other Southern countries including Cambodia.
Empowerment of women and gender equality continued to remain key priorities of the UNOSSC trust fund-supported projects and innovative demand-driven programmes, which are integrated either through dedicated interventions or mainstreaming as crosscutting issues. A number of projects implemented in 2019 were dedicated to promoting the empowerment of women and gender equality. For instance:
g. working closely with the respective Governments in Malawi and Zambia along with local, regional and global institutions, an IBSA Fund-supported project contributed to eliminating child marriages and provided scholarships and support to over 1,400 young women and girls who were victims of early marriage to re-enroll them in school; and
h. an India-UN Partnership Development Fund project in Paraguay implemented by UNFPA developed communication products and launched a campaign to prevent adolescent pregnancy and sexual violence against girls; and
i. an initiative in Sao Tome and Principe trained 127 reproductive service providers (nurses, midwives and doctors) through partnerships.
Contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation have also been a key priority across the UNOSSC trust fund portfolios. The India-UN Partnership Development Fund, including its Commonwealth Window, advanced projects on renewable energy, including Solar Home Standalone (SHS) Systems for Funaota, Nukufetau, in Tuvalu and Scaling Up Rural Households’ Use of Renewable Energy and Energy-efficient Technologies in Cameroon. It also supported initiatives on climate change adaptation, focusing on (a) early warning systems (Use of Drones and Early Warning Systems for Pre- and Post-flood Disaster Management in The Gambia; Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Gabon; and Climate Early Warning Systems in Pacific Island Countries), and (b) resilient livelihoods (Reinforce the Resilience of Vulnerable Populations in Kanem and Lake Chad, which focused on restoring degraded lands and enhancing agricultural production systems). In addition, projects also concentrated on recovery from extreme weather events, providing structural repairs, including the projects Repair and Reconstruction of Export Building and Fumigation Facility in Tonga and Resilient Restoration of Pivotal Public Infrastructure in Post-Irma Barbuda.
The UNOSSC is currently preparing a partnership and resource mobilization strategy whose objective is to promote South-South and triangular cooperation for the attainment of intra/inter-regional SDGs in the South within the time-frame of its strategic framework 2018- 2021 and beyond. The strategy is intended to identify how UNOSSC could leverage South-South and triangular partnerships for resource mobilization purposes including innovative financing mechanisms, to contribute to the financing and implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
3.11 Reducing disaster risk and building resilience;
UNOSSC is leading and coordinating the implementation of the South-South Cooperation Action Plan of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Engagement Strategy. In that context, the Office organized the annual High-Level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, on 11 December 2019. The UNOSSC climate and sustainability programme continued to support Member States and strengthen the global momentum on South-South climate cooperation. In 2019, UNOSSC developed a series of initiatives highlighting the importance of sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences on tackling climate change in the context of the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the implementation of the SDGs.
Moreover, in December 2019, at COP 25, UNOSSC and China co-organized the annual High-Level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change in order to support the implementation of the South-South Cooperation Action Plan, which is part of the Secretary- General’s climate change engagement strategy for 2018–2021. The event brought together ministers, ambassadors, heads of United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations, and senior representatives from business and civil society to showcase and discuss how South-South and triangular cooperation supports developing countries to transition to low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways.
3.12 Supporting international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership;
UNOSSC drafted the Report of the SG on the State of SSC (A/74/336) featuring specific measures taken by the UN system to enhance SSTC and making recommendations for the way forward. It notes that SSC is emphasized in over 80 UN Sustainable Development Frameworks at the country level and that there has been a surge in new partnerships drawing on SSTC.
See responses provided in the previous sections.
4. The high-level political forum (HLPF) is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Has your organization participated in or supported the work of the HLPF? If yes, please specify your involvement in the following areas:
4.1 Supporting the intergovernmental body of your organization in contributing to the thematic review of the HLPF;
4.2 Contributing to policy/background briefs for the HLPF;
4.3 Helping organize SDG-specific events in the preparatory process;
4.4 Organizing side events or speaking at the HLPF;
During the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development, UNOSSC engaged in several side events and strongly advocated for broader partnerships between different stakeholders, sustained policy dialogue and the sharing of experiences in the follow-up to BAPA+40.
➢ Permanent Mission of Thailand, the Permanent Mission of Viet Nam, the Permanent Mission of Chile, UN ESCAP and UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized an event focused on Regional contributions to empower people and promote equality: experiences, lessons learnt and way forward.
➢ Saudi Arabia and the UNOSSC with the engagement of the UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSI) Stakeholders organized an event focused on Fostering Digital Transformation and global partnerships for SDG achievement (Aligning WSIS process with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
➢ UNOSSC/GWOPA-UN-HABITAT organized an event focused on Climate change impact on Caribbean utilities and the role of WOPs in building Caribbean utilities for climate change mitigation.
➢ Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) New Delhi/UNOSSC/UN in India organized an event focused on Financing of SDGs: Challenges faced by Developing Countries with regards to capital flight and specific needs in areas like industrialization, SMEs, trade facilitation, skilling and gender, renewable energy and sustainable urbanization.
➢ Alliance of NGOs and CSOs for South-South Cooperation (ASSC) and UNOSSC organized an event focused on How South-South Cooperation is promoting inclusiveness and Equality.
➢ UNOSSC/APC Colombia/GPSDD organized an event focused on the measurement of South-South cooperation in the implementation of the BAPA+40 outcome recommendations.
➢ UNOSSC organized an event: South-South Global Thinkers Dialogue -Reflection on BAPA+40 Outcome Document.
➢ RIS/UNOSSC organized an event focused on Strengthening SDG 17 through South-South Cooperation Plurality and Way Forward from BAPA+40.
➢ UNOSSC/HDRO organized an event focused on Inequality in Human Development Consultation with Southern-Based Think Tanks for the 2019 Human Development Report.
4.5 Supporting the VNR process.
5. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations to achieve coherence and synergies in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? In this regard, has your organization launched or intend to launch any joint programmes or projects in collaboration with other UN entities? Are there any results or lessons you would like to highlight that might help improve the design and impact of such efforts? Has your organization participated in any of the following coordination systemwide mechanisms or any other relevant platform - CEB, UNSDG, EC-ESA Plus, regional coordination meetings, UN-Energy, UN-Water, UN-Ocean, IAEG, IATT? Please specify which and indicate any suggestions you may have about improving collaborations within and across these mechanisms/platforms.
A three-year partnership initiative on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Enhanced Food Security (SSTC-ADFS), launched in 2015 by a consortium of IFAD, the Islamic Development Band and UNOSSC that systematically promoted South-South and triangular cooperation for food security through the identification, pilot-testing, and documentation of successful models and agricultural technologies for for replication. The project covered Algeria, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan and delivered on three components:
• Component 1 focused on the practical transfer of innovative solutions and technologies. Based on the demand and supply identified by the participating countries, nine knowledge corridors were established under their leadership ranging from agricultural biotechnology to pasture management and sustainable aquacultures. Knowledge exchange workshops, follow-up training workshops and expert exchanges served as the concrete means for the transfer of agro-solutions.
• Component 2 worked towards creating a more favourable policy and institutional environment for the scaling of successful solutions. The national focal points, identified by their ministries at the beginning of the project, were the motor for institutional capacity development in South-South cooperation. The project provided policy advice and tailor-made institutional capacity development, all strictly on a demand basis. This pillar also included a training series for ministry staffs and two high-level ministerial meetings. Besides, development of draft national SSC Strategies in agriculture was supported upon request from several participating countries.
• Component 3 was dedicated to facilitating South-South knowledge exchange. A dedicated on-line portal for agro-solutions was established to make it possible to easily access home-grown expertise and solutions. 89 experts took part in a total of 34 exchange visits, with 768 people benefitting from these visits. In addition to eight regional thematic publications, mobile app for farmers was created based on a proven IT solution from Uzbekistan.
6. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups, both in supporting implementation at the country, regional and global levels, and within your own organization? If yes, please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established any multi-stakeholder partnerships to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, please describe them and how their performances are being monitored and reviewed.
• UNOSSC has led the development of a mapping tool for South-South cooperation mechanisms and development solutions in agriculture, in partnership with key regional institutions in the Arab States, Europe and CIS. This database of the evidences and solutions provides a practical, easy-to-use expertise on agriculture development as well as analytical information for better analysing capacity gaps that prevent the countries in the regions from taking full advantage of the potential benefits of South-South Cooperation.
• South-South & Triangular Cooperation in Implementing the 2030 Agenda: Youth4South Edition orientation training for young people was organized in cooperation with the UN System Staff College (UNSSC), UN Volunteers, China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA), UNFPA, IsDB and SESRIC in June 2018. More than 20 established young professionals and young officials from national governments, technical cooperation agencies and related sectors learnt and exchanged views with their peers from other developing countries to adapt and apply South-South and triangular cooperation tools and methods in scaling-up sustainable development solutions in their own community, institution and country contexts.
• Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals through South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Promoting conducive policy and legal environments in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Division provided organizational support to the joint event of UNOSSC, UNDP and Yingke Law Firm (China) in May 2018 in Prague (Czech Republic) held to scope the contributions of South-South investment in Europe and the CIS region, identify challenges and good practices in policy and legal areas that can facilitate better South-South investment for sustainable development, and discuss regional integration efforts within the region and the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative and their contributions to sustainable development.
7. Has your organization organized any conferences, forums or events designed to facilitate exchange of experience, peer and mutual learning in connection with the SDGs? If yes, please provide a brief summary, below and include lessons learned and gaps identified based on the outcomes of these events. Please also include any events you want to organize in the coming years.
Beside, the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) and the eleventh High-level Forum of Directors General for Development Cooperation (DG Forum), UNOSSC also organized events at the regional level.
For example, within the framework of the partnership initiative on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Enhanced Food Security (SSTC-ADFS) a total of 34 experts visits were executed by the UNOSSC regional division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS, involving 89 experts within the four-year period of the project. 304 direct beneficiaries and 464 indirect beneficiaries benefited from the experts ́ knowledge. The beneficiaries included government experts working on agriculture, scientists, farmers ́ associations, and individual farmer communities. The following events are examples:
• 2 High-level ministerial meetings on South-South and triangular cooperation for agricultural development and enhanced food security in the Arab states, Europe and the CIS provided an opportunity for the leadership of the ministries of agriculture of Algeria, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan to express their visions on the best ways for the SSTC-ADFS partnership initiative to continue supporting their respective national priorities in agricultural development and food security through South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as to exchange views and ideas on further streamlining intra and interregional South- South cooperation toward achieving common development goals.
• A specialized training on agricultural biotechnology “Practical course on chicken primordial germ cell (cPGCs) long-term cultivation and characterization” was held on 12-16 September 2016, in Gödöllő, Hungary. The training was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary (MoAH) through the National Agriculture Research and Innovation Centre (NARIC). Six experts from Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan were taught modern biotechnology approaches in poultry development and obtained practical knowledge on applying specific technics for ensuring preservation of genetic biodiversity. The 5-day training provided an opportunity for experts in biotechnology from Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan to improve their knowledge and to get acquainted with new techniques in poultry breeding. They learnt the mechanisms of the genetic pathways that regulate germ cell survival, proliferation, and migration in the early embryo. In the frame of this course, participants were familiarized with the technique on isolating of circulating primordial germ cells (PGCs) from the blood of HH14-16 stage embryos and culturing them without feeder cells.
• “Training Workshop on Farmer Based Organizations” was held in the International Agricultural Research and Training Center (IARTC) between 12 – 15 January 2016 with the support of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Turkish Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL), and in cooperation with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) providing the experience of the successful models used by producer organizations experienced in Turkey. 43 representatives of farmer based organizations, ministries of agriculture and centres of excellence from Algeria, Hungary, Morocco, Turkey and Uzbekistan were gathered to exchange knowledge and views on successful homegrown solutions and models in the area of Farmer Based Organizations to combat poverty and to enhance food security. Lessons learnt:
• Communities can be best reached through the national level: the results of the project indicate that involving communities is most effectively done by then national level instead of through the international level. When knowledge is being trickled down to communities by national experts – whether from the government, research community or other stakeholders, it will result in more sustainable capacity development and help build working relationships between various national stakeholders.
• UN agencies can better serve their constituencies through a complementary approach: the initiative presented the first large-scale cooperation project between IFAD and UNOSSC. Building on their distinct comparative advantages, member countries could benefit from a solid support package both in terms of organizational assistance and relevant thematic inputs.
In the coming years: In response to COVID-19 Pandemic and for global preparedness for future health emergencies in line with SDGs 3 and 17 the Division is finalizing plans in support of efforts to enhance the capacity of national healthcare systems through technical assistance, trainings and other South-South capacity-building efforts.
8. Is there any other information you would like to share, including annual reports of your organization and any impact assessment or evaluation reports? If yes, please use the space below and attach the document(s). Please also use this space to provide any other information, comments or remarks you deem necessary.
In 2019 UNOSSC drafted the annual report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-South cooperation in close collaboration with relevant focal points in United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes. The report featured specific measures taken by the United Nations system to enhance South-South and triangular cooperation and made recommendations for the way forward. It noted that South-South cooperation was emphasized in over 80 United Nations Sustainable Development Frameworks at the country level. It also highlighted the surge in new partnerships undertaken by the United Nations development system drawing on South-South and triangular cooperation. The report of the Secretary-General informed the deliberations of Member States on South-South cooperation during the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly as well as their negotiations on the General Assembly resolution on South-South cooperation.
Also, in response to Executive Board decision 2018/5, in which the Board requested for annual updates on the results achieved by United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) in 2018, UNOSSC drafted the Annex to the Administrator Report. This was the first update on the implementation of the UNOSSC Strategic Framework, 2018-2021.
9. In your view, what should strategic directions look like for the UN system in support of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs in the Decade of Action? What key elements should they include and what major challenges should they address?
10. Please suggest one or two endeavours or initiatives that the UN system organizations could undertake together to support the implementation of the SDGs between now and 2030.
A UN system-wide digitalization strategy might be needed to further leverage digitalization to achieve SDGs. In the following decade (2020-2030), the world may undergo even more revolutionary digital transformation and technological progress. Digitalization provides new opportunities and impetus to advance SDGs particularly through promoting economic growth and employment. Yet, there are gaps and even growing divides of digital capacity, digital productivity and the integration of digitalization with economy both among and within countries. Such gaps need to be addressed for everyone to reap the full benefits of digitalization.
The outcome document of BAPA + 40 clearly ask for measurement of the South-South cooperation and thus gives UN a mandate to develop methods and indicators that will show results that South-South cooperation is generating and contributing to changing the world and achieving 2030 Agenda.