Event: Institutionalization of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region

 

The increased participation of non-state actors in implementing South-South cooperation is a target set by member states of the United Nations that the UN Office for South-South Cooperation is encouraging. On 28 November during the 2017 Global South-South Development Expo in Antalya, Turkey, a well-attended side-event took place. The side event entitled “Institutionalization of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Region” was co-organised by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, the Asia Foundation, and the Korea Development Institute (KDI). The main objective of the event was to bring together Government representatives and non-governmental organizations in the Asia-Pacific region to share their experiences in supporting South-South cooperation (SSC) and triangular cooperation (TrC). In order for non-state actors to support South-South cooperation, it is important for them to know the government policies and strategies. The side event had interesting exchanges in a format that participants felt was very informative and open in discussing some challenges that stand in the way of stronger government and NGO cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Overview

 

The side event entitled “Institutionalisation of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region” was convened on 28 November 2017 during the 2017 Global South-South Development Expo in Antalya, Turkey. It was co-organized by UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) (Asia-Pacific), the Asia Foundation, and the Korea Development Institute (KDI). The main objectives of the event were to bring together Government representatives and non-governmental organisations in the Asia-Pacific region to share their experiences in supporting South-South cooperation (SSC) and triangular cooperation (TrC) and to provide knowledge on Government policy on South-South cooperation and examples of how the NGOs can support these national aspirations.

The event was attended by 45 participants from Government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and academia. The event was divided into four sessions, each session with panelists and a moderator as below:

(1) Regional overviews: UNOSSC (Asia-Pacific) kicked off the discussion by defining that institutionalization entailed the stock of policies, legal frameworks, supporting institutions, and the tools of implementing South-South Cooperation such as guidelines and manuals. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) shared perspectives on their regional support for SSC and TrC and challenges. KDI presented an overview of SSC in the Asia-Pacific region.

(2) Country presentations: Representatives of the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vanuatu described their experiences with implementing South-South cooperation including the countries’ policies and strategies in institutionalizing and scaling up SSC;

(3) Views of Civil Society: Representatives of civil society from China, India and Republic of Korea spoke on the roles of non-governmental organisations and actors in contributing to SSC and development policy and practice;

(4) Reflections: Panelists drawn from the public and NGO sectors in Fiji, Thailand, China and Japan reflected on the issues raised by the previous presenters and attempted to deduce the lessons learned and effective and practical ways to address challenges faced by their respective countries and other countries on the brink of scaling up South-South Cooperation.

 

2. Issues Discussed

 

2.1 Regional Perspective: Asia-Pacific

During the first session, speakers noted that SSC has become an important development cooperation arm for the achievement of the SDGs and all development. They seemed to concur that SSC is now at the heart of the work of regional organisations of the Asia-Pacific region. This is a region characterized by the diversity of the countries’ that call it home. With countries ranging from OECD-DAC donors such as Japan and the Republic of Korea to economic powers such as China and India, with middle income countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore and small island developing states, the Asia-Pacific region has provided unique opportunities for SSC and TrC. The region has thus seen an increasing level of engagement in SSC and TrC with a significant shift to more inclusive partnerships among stakeholders including NGOs and private sector and the involvement of regional and sub-regional actors whose roles have expanded significantly to the benefit of SSC and TrC. Examples include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) among others. Speakers also noted the importance of capacity building for institutionalising of SSC including appropriate knowledge-sharing, a clear roadmap, and allocation of resources. Some participants indicated that dialogues such as this (in the side event) should serve as starting point of engaging and sharing knowledge with other countries.

UNESCAP is the largest inter-governmental forum in the region covering 53 countries constituting 60 per cent of the world’s population. SSC is at the heart of its support to Member States, in the areas of trade and foreign direct investment, ICT for development, transfer of technology, sustainable agriculture, statistics, science and technology and support to SDGs. In order to utilize the full potential of SSC, the ESCAP representative mentioned the following criteria: (1) coordination – to link countries, regional institutions, and SS actors with a platform for experience and knowledge sharing and addressing resources in a demand-driven manner, (2) communication – to identify comparative advantages of all SSC partners in the region and maximize complementarity, and (3) innovative partnership and thinking – through various regional platforms and mechanisms should be strengthened. In this context, UNESCAP, supported by some member states proposed that a regional forum be created for coordination among national focal points on development cooperation to support the strengthening of partnerships for SSC.

Participants also heard the background and the governance system of PIDF which was uniquely established in 2015 to constitute developing Pacific Islands Developing States. The Forum was established to serve as an inclusive platform for development cooperation of Pacific Island Developing States with the emphasis on multi-stakeholder, multi-sector, and multi-level approach to sustainable development through the “Green” and “Blue” Economy. The most important means of development cooperation of PIDF is through a SSC platform, within the Pacific Island Developing States and between the Pacific Island Developing States and partners outside the region. The PIDF focuses on a balanced integration of the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development through the green economy with a strong linkage with the UN global processes envisaged to achieve the SDGs.

 

2.2 Challenges for Governments

Bangladesh presented the country’s experiences in policy, strategy, and current progress towards institutionalisation of SSC. As SSC is gaining momentum in Bangladesh, the country has established a South-South Cooperation Cell (SSCC) within the Economic Relations Divisions (ERD) under the Ministry of Finance which acts as the focal point to coordinate initiatives aimed at strengthening and promoting SSC, sharing development experiences, and engaging with private sector and NGOs. The SSCC also provides capacity development training on managing SSC projects and identifying potential areas of cooperation with Southern countries. The presenter noted that political and organisational commitment has driven the progress thus far. However, challenges remain on the need for coordination of SSC activities of different implementing agencies, a budgetary allocation for SSC and the compilation of data on SSC to enhance the understanding of the flow of cooperation and results achieved. Bangladesh recognizes that SSC needs to be implemented coherently with country policies and strategies aligned for the same purposes.

Lao PDR presented the country’s efforts in enhancing SSC and TrC in the implementation of National Social and Economic Development Plan to achieve LDC graduation by 2020 and attainment of SDGs. The history of SSC in Lao PDR dated back to the 1970s when Laos engaged in SSC with Vietnam and subsequently joined sub-regional economic cooperation in the Greater Mekong and ASEAN region. Laos has seen more engagement with SS partners particularly China, Thailand, Vietnam and India. To enrich interaction with development partners, both North and South, the Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (2016-2025) and the Round Table Process (RTM) to implement the Declaration have incorporated SSC and TrC. The main coordinators for SSC and TrC currently are the Ministry of Investment and Planning and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Capacity building is ongoing to further enhance SSC and TrC and to ensure a comprehensive national approach, national ownership, learning and sustainability, information management and inclusive partnership. The country is in the process of building and strengthening an institutional arrangement and monitoring mechanism for SSC and TrC. This will be achieved through exploring key strategic action areas and initiatives for SSC and TrC, strengthening of institution and coordination between entities, and development of national capacity.

Bhutan representatives noted that their country has advocated for the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), a multi-dimensional development framework that places people at the centre of development. The concept has guided the country socio-economic development. However, challenges remain for Bhutan as a landlocked LDC, as it faces the lack of economic competitiveness, weak trade infrastructure and support services, account deficits, sustained imbalance of trade, growing public debt, among others. Therefore, the country feels the need to understand and harness the benefits of SSC, particularly for LDCs, in building productive capacities in the process of structural transformation and economic diversification that are key to enhance resilience to external shocks and to escape from cycles that prevent economic progress.

The Vanuatu representative commented on the lack of mechanisms and information in support of SSC and TrC in his country and expressed interest in engaging with partners for SSC and TrC. In particular, he proposed a capacity building workshop in the Pacific so that countries with similar issues can share knowledge and a roadmap for the way forward.

 

2.3 Civil Society Role

Participants were presented with cases in which CSOs and NGOs from China, Republic of Korea, and India are contributing to SSC through their international engagement. Panelists spoke about partnership with governments and the need for private fundraising. In China, the guidelines for NGOS to use the government’s newly established South-South Cooperation Aid Fund have not been finalized. In India, NGOS accessing funding from Government are limited to work in India only unless they can pair up with an international organization. In the case of the Republic of Korea, KOICA has been providing funding to Korean CSOs to work overseas since 1995.

However, despite the challenges of funding and the regulatory environment, the important role of CSOs in contributing to SSC was emphasized. Speakers underlined the fact that CSOs have important roles in influencing policy-making, providing technical expertise and capacity in thematic areas, resorting to innovative partnerships with other non-State actors such as private and academic sectors.

Speakers also commented on their scope for influencing their countries’ policies on SSC. Korea has a formal committee with participation from NGOS, India has a Forum for International Development Cooperation where NGOs have a seat, and Chinese CSOs are increasingly being invited to contribute to Chinese SSC policy, though the mechanisms are informal. They recognized that this policy influence will be particularly important as large SSC infrastructure strategies such as the Belt and Road Initiative, unfold across the region.

Some speakers opined that NGOs have the ability to connect to demand-driven platforms which helps in creating sustainable impacts in partner countries, raising awareness among public, investing in research, monitoring and assessment, and in offering transparent and accountable mechanisms in development cooperation. In conclusion, it seemed that CSOs can significantly influence the direction and the implementation of Asian SSC and TrC in the region.

 

2.4 Reflecting Lessons Learnt

Based on the issues raised during previous sessions speakers reflected and enlisted their experiences to address the challenges on SSC and TrC.

Fiji’s development cooperation policy with other countries in the Pacific is based on the policy of the country being a responsible global citizenship and collective self-reliance. Scale is not as important as the reciprocity generated from SSC in a complementary manner among Fiji’s partners. For SSC to be successful, it must involve all stakeholders including CSOs. The speaker summarized Fiji’s approach, “What can we do to add value to what you are doing to help yourself?”

The Thailand International cooperation Agency (TICA) Deputy Executive Director stated that long lasting impact of SSC should be based on horizontal partnership (as opposed to donor and recipient) where capacity building rather than funding should not be central issue. The speaker noted that “3C”s have guided Thailand’s progress in institutionalization of SSC; namely, connectivity (networking), complementarity, and coordination. Based on this experience, the TICA representative supported UNESCAP in suggesting that to improve and strengthen SSC there should be a platform/forum where countries can coordinate their development cooperation. He further suggested that the platform would include developed and developing countries. Furthermore, he emphasized the need for strong assessments and surveys to create a long-lasting impact on development cooperation.

TICA and Centre for International Knowledge Development (CIKD) stressed that SSC must be demand driven and unconditional. Responding to candid questions from the floor as to whether South-South cooperation was simply the flavor of the days without evidence of its efficacy in providing solutions for development, a few speakers stressed that SSC, based on reciprocity, has provided a learning process for all partners. The representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) noted that despite the progress made in institutionalising SSC and TrC, SSC development approach is still evolving and is positive. He noted that more partners from Southern countries have realised the benefits from the diversity of development cooperation ushered by South-South and triangular Cooperation. He left the meeting participants with a challenge to mull about: “how should stakeholders continue to leverage attainment of these benefits?”

Participants reminded UN Agencies of their responsibility in assisting SSC processes as has been called for by Member States. Furthermore, participants noted knowledge transfer which plays an important part in SSC should be leveraged by evolving technology and innovation.

 

 

Concept Note

 

The side event for the Pacific Region and other partners interested in “Institutionalisation of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region” will uniquely bring together government Representatives and Non-Governmental Organisations to share their experiences in supporting South-South and triangular cooperation. Thus, the event will provide knowledge on Government policy on South-South cooperation and examples of how the NGOs can support these national aspirations.

 

Objectives and Thematic Focus

The Asia-Pacific region boasts of some of the strongest exponents, think tanks and leadership in South-South and triangular cooperation. Countries such as China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore and Thailand have contributed to both the practice and discourse on South-South Cooperation (SSC) and in the 1990s were designated as “pivotal” countries by the UN General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. Once home to the highest global poverty rates, today the region is a global engine of growth. Despite these achievements, countries vary in their development trajectory. The past 60 years has produced high income nations such as the Republic of Korea and Singapore, middle income economic giants like China, India, and Indonesia, and less developed countries, just emerging from LDC status, such as Laos or Cambodia. The region also has many Small Island Developing States. The diversity in levels of development across the region has provided unique opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration between countries. This has been particularly evident in sub-regions (such as the Mekong delta) where countries have developed cohesive strategies around provision of public goods. However, while some sub-regions in the Asia-Pacific have reached very high levels of cohesion, the experiences remain uneven.  The presence of high levels of Foreign Direct Investment and ODA has also meant that in the past some smaller countries did not focus on South-South Cooperation as a tool for their development strategies. This however is changing in the 21st century.

Asia-Pacific SSC, like the region’s development, is not homogenous in evolution, form, or application. China and India, the region’s heavyweights, have the resources and capabilities both to invest and offer significant support to partner countries. The two developed countries in the region, the Republic of Korea and Japan, present a different model, sharing cooperation characteristics that blend with Northern donors’ approaches and SSC. Japan is also a leader in triangular cooperation. Emerging economies, such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Mongolia, have experimented with different cooperation modalities and administrative structures. Both Thailand and Indonesia are expanding their triangular cooperation (TrC). While traditional official development assistance remains important, SSC is growing and has proven potentially to be more responsive to new forms of finance, development solutions and knowledge exchange with partners and peers in the region. These phenomena have led to more international attention and interest in Asian approaches to SSC in recent years.

In the recent few months since the UN Office for South-South Cooperation opened its Offices in Asia-Pacific, the trend towards more interest in South-South Cooperation has been noted by its staff in countries that previously pursued a low-level of engagement in South-South Cooperation. Furthermore, a number of Non-Governmental Organisations have demonstrated greater application in supporting South-South Cooperation at the Regional Level.

It is therefore proposed to bring together representatives of Government from selected countries and the NGOs from the Asia-Pacific at a side event in support of the Global South-South Expo.

The Side Event at the GSSD Expo 2017 will be in the context of further stimulating South-South focus and provide options for countries interested in South-South Cooperation to Strengthen their practice for development. The side-event will explore the following questions:

  1. How and why are smaller countries in the Asia-Pacific institutionalising South-South Cooperation? Target (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu)
  2. What is required to stimulate more regional cooperation for public goods in South-South Cooperation? (Resource Countries and Regional Institutions, Thailand/ASEAN; SAARC)
  3. How are NGOs (and other non-state actors) expanding their roles in South-South and triangular cooperation in Asia-Pacific? (China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea)
  4. What are the effective and practical ways of supporting countries in the Asia-Pacific Region to institutionalise, advance, and benefit from SSC and TrC opportunities?

 

Concrete Outcomes

  • Explore possibilities for stronger country support towards institutionalisation of South-South Cooperation and regional public goods.
  • Deeper understanding of the role and potential contribution of NGOs and non-state actors to Asia-Pacific SSC.
  • Opportunities for collaboration among Asia-Pacific countries and experts.
  • Policy-relevant material discussed and disseminated that captures the objectives, actions, and possibilities of Asia-Pacific SSC.

 

 

 

Panelists

 

Dr. Denis Nkala

Regional Coordinator and representative of the United Nations office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Asia and the Pacific Office


Denis Nkala (Ph.D.) is the Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific in the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.

He has worked in the Asia-Pacific region since 2006. He has worked extensively with countries in the region including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Thailand. In 2009, he co-wrote a publication on South-South and triangular cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, he has worked with a team from Thailand on a publication focusing on Thai outreach to other countries including the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy.

Denis Nkala studied Economics and Business Administration (B.Sc.), Applied Economics (M.Sc.) and Applied Management and Decision Sciences (Ph.D.). His previous assignments also include Iraq and Zimbabwe. Denis is a national of Zimbabwe.

 

Mr. François Martel

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF)


François Martel, a Samoan national, is the first substantive Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) appointed in September 2015. The PIDF is a multilateral and multi-stakeholder organization focusing on a distinctive Pacific model of green growth in blue economies aligned to sustainable development principles. The Secretariat is based in Suva, Republic of Fiji. The 3rd Summit of the PIDF adopted the Suva Declaration on climate change, a high ambition call by Pacific leaders and organizations. Mr. Martel championed the Suva Declaration at COP21 and COP22. He is a professional forester and conservationist with 35 years of experience working on issues of biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable natural resource use in island ecosystems of West Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. In Samoa, he last held senior technical advisor positions on GEF and UNDP climate resilience of forest ecosystems and critical landscape management projects. Before joining PIDF, he was Climate change and COP21 Advisor for the Government of Tokelau. Prior to this Mr. Martel spent 10 years on the Senior Leadership Team of Conservation International as the Executive Director for their Pacific Islands Program and as a Biodiversity Conservation project officer with SPREP, based in Apia.

 

Ms. Maria Misovicova

Partnerships Lead, Strategy and Programme Management Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Ms. Maria Misovicova leads Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation at the Strategy and Programme Management Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Maria has a rich working experience in development field within and outside the United Nations that has taken her across the world to Switzerland, Japan, Chile, and currently Thailand.

In her current job with ESCAP, Maria is responsible for developing strategic partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, including bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, other UN and non-UN agencies, and the business community. Having joined the UN in March 2003, Maria have held different posts with progressive responsibility in trade policy, trade facilitation and programme management with Geneva-based UNCTAD and UNECE, and ESCAP in Bangkok.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Maria was a diplomat working for Slovakia’s Foreign Service and looking after economic agenda. She worked as a Trade Negotiator at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, and headed trade negotiating teams during Slovakia’s accessions to OECD and European Union.
Maria authored/co-authored a significant number of publications on trade and development and trade facilitation, including together with the Asian Development Bank, and has an ample speaking experience internationally and regionally in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.
Maria has degrees in economics and international law, and took an executive leadership programme at Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Dr. Taejong Kim

Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management


Dr. Taejong Kim is currently a professor at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. Before joining the faculty at the KDI School, he taught at York University, Canada, and at GRIPS, Japan. His research and teaching interests include public finance, labor economics, microeconomics, and applied microeconomics. He obtained a B.A. and M.A. in economics from Seoul National University and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently he is the director of the Development Research Center at the KDI School.

 

Mr. Asoka Rasphone

Director of the United Nations Socio-Economic Affairs Division, International Organization Department of MoFA, Lao PDR


As Director at Department of International Organizations, MoFA Laos, Mr. Asoka acts as the central coordinator between the Laos’ Government and the United Nations Networks. Prior to this he served as the Director in charge for International Non-Governmental Organizations and Special Adviser on the UN issues to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos. He has worked at length as a diplomat in New York and with the UN Field Missions.

His current focus is to ensure Laos’ government socio-economic development plan is integrated and streamlined with the SDGs and Development Agenda 2030. He coordinates with the relevant central and local authorities in compiling, formulating and presenting policy of cooperation, investigating the requirements, rules and measures to implement and manage projects. He is also making research proposals and coordinate with the relevant sectors on cooperation and development funding from the United Nations Networks and international organizations for approval.

Mr. Asoka’s divine portfolio are included with research and presentation of perspectives, policies and strategies on economic, social, environmental, human rights, human trafficking, humanitarian assistance, socio-cultural and development in multilateral framework, including the United Nations, the Group of 77 and China, South-South Cooperation Framework and the Triangular cooperation.

 

Ms. Anthea Mulakala

Director of International Development Cooperation, The Asia Foundation


Anthea Mulakala is The Asia Foundation’s Director for International Development Cooperation. She leads the Foundation’s work on Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation, which focuses on how Asian countries are influencing the global development and aid landscape. From 2007 – 2014 she served as Country Representative in Malaysia, concurrently leading the Foundation’s engagement on development effectiveness and development policy. Between 1991 and 2007, Ms. Mulakala worked for several multilateral, bilateral and nongovernmental organizations in Asia, including the World Bank (in support of Indonesian decentralization), South Asia Partnership (in support of NGO capacity-building in Sri Lanka and regional gender issues), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), where she led a large health project consortium in Bangladesh and served as DFID’s Reconciliation and Development advisor in Sri Lanka. Ms. Mulakala has written and published on conflict dynamics in Asia, aid and development policy, social mobility in Asia, south-south cooperation, the role of NGOs and the private sector in Asian development cooperation, Indian development cooperation, and various issues in Malaysian political economy. She holds a B.A. Hons. in Political Science and English from the University of Western Ontario and a M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa Canada. Ms Mulakala is also co-founder of a Malaysian social enterprise which tackles the crisis of poor nutrition amongst Malaysian children.

 

Ms. Supriya Roychoudhury

Independent Researcher and Adviser: International Development Cooperation


Supriya Roychoudhury currently serves as Emerging Powers Coordinator at Crisis Action, where she is responsible for policy engagement in the emerging powers to prevent and stop conflict. Alongside her work at Crisis Action, she has served as Senior Associate at O.P. Jindal University in India to co-lead an international research project aimed at developing a BRICS Sustainability Index for adoption by the newly-launched ‘New Development Bank’ of the BRICS. As the former lead of Oxfam India’s foreign policy programme, she coordinated its research and advocacy strategy on South-South Cooperation. She is a published author and independent researcher on India’s development diplomacy, and is currently co-authoring a study that explores the domestic politics that underpin India’s development cooperation strategy. Prior to her work in the international development sector, Supriya worked with various think tanks and political consultancies in New Delhi and London. She is the recipient of the US State Department’s Legislative and Governance Fellowship as well as the European Union’s Visitor’s Fellowship. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Warwick, a First Class Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi, as well as degrees in Spanish and Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, also from the University of Delhi.

 

Ms. Hyun Jung Park

Program Manager, Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC)


Hyun Jung Park has been working as a project manager at KCOC since 2012. KCOC is an association of 132 development NGOs in Korea. Ms. Park is mainly in charge of managing the “Incubating program for CSO” in cooperation with KOICA. This program is composed of training, consulting and distributing funds for project assessment. Ms. Park has visited the field numerous times to monitor and consult on NGO projects. Before joining KCOC, she studied Global governance at the Kyung-Hee Graduate School of NGO studies. During that period, she completed a short internship at UN Global Compact due to her experience in the private sector. Aside from her M.A. from Kyung-Hee University, Ms. Park holds a B.A. in Aviation Engineering from Korea Aerospace University and B.A. in Business and Administration from Korean National Open University.

 

Mr. Wang Xingzui

Executive Vice President, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA)


Wang Xingzui is the Executive Vice President of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) (2001-present), one of the oldest and largest NGOs in China and one of the few working outside the country. He has over two decades of experience in rural development and poverty alleviation. Under his leadership and team efforts, the Foundation has grown from a small, largely unknown organization to one that is well recognized and respected for its pioneering work and professionalism by the governments, corporates, beneficiaries and peer NGOs both at home and abroad. Xingzui oversees the Foundation’s strategies and microfinance and is working hard to expand the Foundation’s operations to other countries and to transform the Foundation towards an international NGO. Xingzui is also dedicated to promoting transparency, unity and partnerships in the Chinese NGO sector. Prior to CFPA, Wang Xingzui worked at the State Council Poverty Reduction Office (1996-2000) and the Ministry of Agriculture (1988-1995), where he was engaged in the poverty reduction projects funded by bi- and multi-lateral organizations and on inter-governmental cooperation projects. Wang Xingzui obtained his bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University and his master’s degree in business administration from Renmin University of China. Mr. Wang is a 2013 Yale World Fellow.

 

Mr. Paisan Rupanichkij

Deputy Director-General, Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand


Mr. Paisan Rupanichkij is a Deputy Director-General of Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Joining diplomatic service in 1989, Mr. Rupanichkij has previously served as a Director of ASEAN ll Division, Department of ASEAN Affairs in 2011 and a Director of International Economic Policy Division, Department of International Economic Affairs in 2015.
Mr. Rupanichkij was posted as a first secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara, Turkey in 1999 to 2002 and a Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations, New York, in 2012 to 2015.

In June 2016, Mr. Rupanichkij was endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group at the United Nations in New York to serve as an expert to Perez Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF).

Mr. Rupanichkij holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University (ANU) (1998).

 

Mr. Zhou Taidong

Head, Global Development Division, Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD)


Mr. Zhou Taidong currently serves as Director of Global Development Division for China Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD), responsible for studying global development governance as well as global and regional development agendas such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Belt and Road Initiative. Previously, Mr. Zhou has worked at the Development Research Center of the State Council from August 2015 to August 2017, the Asia Foundation’s China office from July 2011 to July 2015, and China’s Ministry of Commerce from July 2002-June 2010. Mr. Zhou has written extensively in both Chinese and English focusing largely on China and international development cooperation.

 

Mr. Ryutaro Murotani

Director / Deputy Head, Office for Global Issues and Development Partnership, Operations Strategy Department, JICA


Since February 2017, Ryutaro Murotani has been Director / Deputy Head of Office for Global Issues and Development Partnership, Operations Strategy Department of JICA. Prior to this assignment, he served as Senior Representative / Deputy Head of JICA Rwanda Office for three years. His previous assignments include Research Fellow at JICA Research Institute, First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Middle East Officer at the Loan Aid Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. He holds the Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard Kennedy School.

 

 

Focal Point Contact Details

Overall Coordinators: Denis Nkala, Regional Coordinator and Representative of UNOSSC Asia-Pacific Regional Office; Anthea Mulakala, Director, International Development Cooperation, Asia Foundation

Communications Focal Point: Fongfon Sridusadee (Ms.), Programme Manager, fongfon.sridusadee@undp.org, +66 23049100 Ext 5403, +66 824455192