Concept Note

Introduction

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF will jointly organise a Sub-Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in the Pacific in preparation for the Pacific Islands’ participation in the second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference) that will take place on 20-22 March, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The sub-regional consultation will take place from 6-7 March and will be followed by a capacity building workshop on 8 March.

The United Nations General Assembly resolutions 71/318 and 71/244 mandated the United Nations to convene the second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires.

The overall objective of the High-Level Conference is to review trends in South-South and triangular cooperation, including the progress made by the international community, and the United Nations, in supporting and promoting such cooperation. The Conference will also identify new opportunities that South-South (SSC) and triangular cooperation (TrC) present and the solutions to address sustainable development challenges, including South-South and triangular cooperation as enablers for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Conference is also expected to respond to the needs and challenges faced by the practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation and to generate innovative approaches of South-South and triangular cooperation.

South-South cooperation is one of the important drivers of regional cooperation among the Pacific Islands Developing States. SSC involves the sharing of experiences and capacities that already exist and supports development of new capacities. It opens additional channels of communication among developing countries and promotes and strengthens economic integration among developing countries on as wide a geographic basis as possible. South-South Cooperation modalities enhance the multiplier effect of technical cooperation and foster economic, scientific and technological self-reliance. In addition, South-South and triangular cooperation have been identified as key modalities for delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To reach their full potential they need to be aligned, enhanced and structured to correspond with the needs and priorities of developing countries.

 

1. Sub-Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific

The Sub-regional Consultation in the Pacific follows the convening of an Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on 27-29 May, 2018 in Bangkok Thailand. During the consultation, some delegates from the Pacific participated and indicated a need to have a sub-regional event in which issues particular to the Pacific and the small Island developing States could be discussed. In the sub-regional consultation, the delegates from the Pacific Islands and the United Nations will review South-South cooperation trends, challenges and opportunities in the sub-region in support of SDG implementation. The consultation will provide countries with a platform to share their experiences as providers or users of South-South and triangular cooperation, their institutional arrangements, policies and lessons learned. The participants will also discuss and suggest partnerships with the various stakeholders, including UN entities, the civil society, think tanks and the private sector.

The outcomes from the Sub-regional Consultation, while not binding, will facilitate the exchange of ideas on policy, strategy and institutional and financial tools for South-South and triangular cooperation as well as management capacity at the regional level, and strengthen capacity of the Pacific Islands nations to contribute more effectively to the debate in Buenos Aires High-Level Conference.

 

2. Themes and issues to be discussed at the Sub-Regional Consultation

The themes and issues to be discussed at the Sub-Regional Consultation will align with the theme of the BAPA+40 Conference “Role of South-South cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: challenges and opportunities” as well as its sub-themes, to include the following four areas:

(i.) Trends and diversity of South-South cooperation landscape in the Pacific – turning challenges into opportunities, comparative advantages and opportunities of South-South cooperation and sharing of experiences, best practices and success stories from the Pacific;

(ii.) Institutional framework of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation – experiences, good practices and the way forward;

(iii.) Modalities to strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation through South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development;

(iv.) Scaling up the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in support of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation through multi-stakeholder partnership: the Role of the United Nations Development System, regional organisations, private sector and civil society organisations.

The discussions and key outcomes of the sub-regional consultation will be consolidated in the form of a Chair’s Summary for the information and reference of all participants.

 

3. Expected outcomes

(i.) Increased awareness and enhanced capacity of Pacific islands countries on effective utilisation of South-South and triangular cooperation modalities to achieve SDGs, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed goals;

(ii.) Well-defined, substantive way forward to support the implementation of SDGs in the sub-region through South-South and triangular cooperation;

(iii.) Mechanism in place for improved and streamlined coordination among countries in the Pacific to harness South-South and triangular cooperation in the priority areas identified in the sub-regional consultation.

The outcomes will be put forward in a non-binding Chair’s summary to contribute to the discussions and the outcomes of the BAPA+40 Conference in Buenos Aires in March 2019.

 

4. Target Audience

Pacific Island Member States representatives and other key stakeholders from the Pacific region. This will include heads of Pacific missions based in Fiji and some development cooperation agencies and South-South focal points; and the representatives of UN agencies, think-tanks, the civil society organizations and the private sector will also be invited.
Other countries from the Asia-Pacific Region will be invited as observers to the Consultation proceedings.

 

5. Organisers

The meeting will be jointly mostly funded and organised by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

 

Dates and Venues

The Regional Consultation is planned to take place on 6 and 7 March 2019 in Nadi, Fiji. The follow-up capacity building workshop will take place on 8 March.