The UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) introduced the South-South Galaxy to the United Nations South-South Focal points on 21 August 2019 and to the ASEAN Development Cooperation Forum on 22 August 2019. The South-South Galaxy is a knowledge sharing and partnership brokering platform that the UN Office for South-South cooperation and its partners have developed. Its purpose is to enable users to access, navigate and use a broad range of knowledge, development solutions and research. It will also facilitate matchmaking between the demand and supply for data and development solutions. The United Nations Secretary-General’s report on, “Role of South-South cooperation and the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Challenges and opportunities” highlighted the need to have such a knowledge exchange and brokering platform. In Asia-Pacific, the participants to the inaugural meeting of the Asia-Pacific Director-Generals Forum on South-South Cooperation convened by ESCAP, UNOSSC and the Government of Thailand also strongly recommended a practical match-making platform.
Eighteen (18) participants from 15 different UN entities, namely, FAO, UNCDF, UN Coordination Office, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCAP, UNFPA, UN Habitat, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNOHCHR, UNOPS, UNV and UN Women participated in the briefing meeting led by UNOSSC Regional Office staff and UNOSSC’s Knowledge and Research Specialist from New York.
The participants welcomed the introduction of the platform to facilitate knowledge sharing and partnership brokering. As the purpose of the presentation also included getting feedback to improve design, the group discussed and reviewed on how the platform could be further enhanced covering the following areas: credibility, quality checks, management and updating mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation, getting partners to be active and resource availability. The UN South-South focal points emphasized avoiding pitfalls that have rendered similar projects ineffective. They also called for UNOSSC to prepare answers to frequently asked questions. A number of UN entities expressed their readiness to start contributing to the platform. The platform will be officially launched on 12 September 2019 on the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.
On 22nd August, the UNOSSC staff introduced the South-South Galaxy to ASEAN Member States during the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Development Cooperation Forum. The meeting was convened by the Government of Thailand, The Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) as a meeting for ASEAN development cooperation entities to share their experiences.
The ASEAN representatives all endorsed the effort by UNOSSC and its partners to develop and introduce this platform. Several countries indicated interest in contributing to the platform and urged UNOSSC to proceed with putting the platform for access by the global South.
Photo: Courtesy of TICA