Regional cooperation and South-South cooperation are almost synonymous. Relations between developing countries in their regions and sub-regions are mostly defined by South-South cooperation in the sharing of public goods and opportunities while mitigating or managing common threats. However, without mapping these collaborative activities, they may not be known to potential partners and other regions who may benefit from their adaptation.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing regions in the world with a comprehensive agenda towards regional integration. As the ASEAN Community strides forward to achieve its ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation in Asia-Pacific has discussed cooperating with the Department of ASEAN Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, as the coordinator of ASEAN on sustainable development, in mapping some of the cutting edge South-South initiatives in the region particularly in the areas of regional integration, trade and investment, capacity development and human resources development, the green economy and disaster reduction. The mapping will be a pilot to be followed by similar mapping in other regions of the Asia-Pacific.
On Friday 16 February 2018, Director-General Suriya Chindavongse and his team met with the UNOSSC Regional Team to finalize the concept note to kickstart the mapping exercise.