It was formed following discussions at the Ninth Global South-South Development Expo in Antalya, Turkey, in 2017 whereby it was recognised that NGOs and CSOs have a large role and potential in enhancing South-South Cooperation in order to meet the SDGs. The official launch of the Alliance took place in November 2018 in New York, at the second GSSD Expo where Dr Husna Ahmad was chosen to be the coordinator for the Alliance.
The Alliance strives to enhance the civil society’s understanding of the value of South-South Cooperation in developmental, humanitarian and related spheres. It encourages sharing of knowledge, expertise and contextually appropriate technologies and assets among NGOs and CSOs, particularly the ones that have been developed in their respective organizational and operational experiences in developing countries.
While conceptually South-South cooperation is not new, it was reinvigorated at the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September 1978. The Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA), adopted at that conference, has lent policy and operational guidance to governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in promoting SSC modalities in their humanitarian and development efforts, with commendable outcomes.
The ASSC are working closely alongside the United Nations’ Office for South-South Cooperation and seek to work together to capacity build and empower organisations within the Global South through the sharing and exchange of knowledge, resources, skills, expertise and innovative ideas to quicken the speed of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and to make a dent in the contribution and potential NGOs and CSOs have in combating global poverty through strengthening solidarity, collaboration and partnership, which speaks directly to SDG 17.
About South-South and Triangular Cooperation
The Alliance for South-South Cooperation (ASSC) is mandated by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). Both ASSC and UNOSSC are manifestations of a broader South-South cooperation framework, led by a number of guiding principles and objectives.
What is South-South Cooperation?
South-South cooperation refers to a wide-ranging framework of political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical collaboration between countries of the South.
It can take place on a variety of scales (bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional), and involves two or more developing countries. Participants share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources, with the overall aim being to meet their development goals through concerted efforts.
Guiding Principles of South-South Cooperation
The countries of the South determine both the South-South cooperation agenda and the South-South cooperation initiatives. The agenda and initiatives are guided by six key principles; respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
Objectives of South-South Cooperation
The objectives of South-South cooperation are articulated by the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, endorsed by the General Assembly in 1978. They state that the purpose of South-South Cooperation is to:
-foster the self-reliance of developing countries by enhancing their creative capacity to find solutions to their development problems in keeping with their own aspirations, values and specific needs;
-promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among developing countries through the exchange of experiences; the pooling, sharing and use of their technical and other resources; and the development of their complementary capacities;
-strengthen the capacity of developing countries to identify and analyse together their main development issues and formulate the requisite strategies to address them;
-increase the quantity and enhance the quality of international development cooperation through the pooling of capacities to improve the effectiveness of the resources devoted to such cooperation;
-create and strengthen existing technological capacities in the developing countries in order to improve the effectiveness with which such capacities are used and to improve the capacity of developing countries to absorb and adapt technology and skills to meet their specific developmental needs;
-increase and improve communications among developing countries, leading to a greater awareness of common problems and wider access to available knowledge and experience as well as the creation of new knowledge in tackling development problems;
-recognize and respond to the problems and requirements of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and the countries most seriously affected by, for example, natural disasters and other crises; and
-enable developing countries to achieve a greater degree of participation in international economic activities and to expand international cooperation for development.