Save the date: Commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation and Intergovernmental Organisations Meeting in Asia- Pacific 2021, 14 September 2021

CONCEPT NOTE

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

The United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is the designated focal point for promoting and facilitating South-South and Triangular cooperation for development on a global and United Nations system-wide basis. Within the last decade, the United Nations General Assembly has reinforced this role through resolutions 69/239 of 19 December 2014, 70/222 of 22 December 2015, 71/244 of 21 December 2016 and the recent Decision of the High-Level Committee SSC/20/L.5 of 3 June 2021. These resolutions pertain to “establishing a more formalized and strengthened inter-agency mechanism, coordinated by UNOSSC, to encourage joint support to South-South and triangular initiatives and share information”. 

Since its establishment in 2017, the UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia-Pacific (ROAP) has been actively engaging with members of intergovernmental organisations in the region. Key partner organisations include regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings. Some have been invited to take part in several regional platforms/forums, including the Asia-Pacific Director-Generals (DGs) Forum for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, led by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with UNOSSC and other development partners. Some have also participated in South-South focal points network retreats, where information on the latest developments and trends in South-South and triangular cooperation and views on how to better integrate South-South and triangular cooperation in their work are exchanged.  The latest edition of such consultations was the UN Regional South-South and Triangular Cooperation Focal Points Network Retreat, held in December 2020. During that consultation, participants learned about the UN Systemwide Strategy on South-South and triangular cooperation, related funds and resources available and the UN Development Reform at regional and national levels. Many of the regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings have South-South Cooperation as the central modality of delivering development cooperation in their work. Hence, the path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic includes such institutions.

The 20th session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation[1], successfully held on 1-4 June 2021, reviewed progress made in implementing the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), the New Directions Strategy for South-South Cooperation, the Nairobi Outcome Document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation and the Buenos Aires Outcome Document of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40). The Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo 2022, to be co-hosted by the Royal Thai Government, ESCAP, and UNOSSC, is scheduled to take place in Bangkok under the theme of Advancing South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable COVID-19 Recovery: Towards a smart and resilient future”. Furthermore, following the High-level Committee, the annual commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation follows shortly on 12 September.

Given these developments, and particularly, in the context of activities leading up to the GSSD Expo 2022, UNOSSC ROAP, ESCAP and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, as the co-organisers, propose to hold an inaugural Meeting of regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings in the region on South-South and triangular cooperation. The meeting may evolve into an informal Network depending on the outcome of the discussions.

OBJECTIVES

This meeting is intended to be a networking platform for regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings in Asia and the Pacific, with the objective to

  • discuss the latest developments in South-South and triangular cooperation at the global and regional levels;
  • exchange ideas, experiences, good practices and lessons learnt;
  • showcase successes, address challenges, and explore opportunities/solutions to further strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation.

Discussions will focus on 3 priority areas for the year 2021, i.e., climate change and green recovery, digital transformation, and SMEs Recovery and entrepreneurship. These thematic areas are perceived as key areas in mitigating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and in helping countries in the global South to build back better.

CONVENORS

The co-convenors are ESCAP, UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and UNOSSC ROAP. The Meeting will take place as part of the commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific on 14 September 2021, from 09:30 to 12:00 hours Bangkok time. A representative from Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) will be invited to give opening remarks as Thailand will co-host the upcoming Global South-South Development Expo.

MODALITIES AND TENTATIVE AGENDA

The Meeting will be organised in a virtual format. It will consist of an opening session, three thematic breakout sessions (held simultaneously for 1.5 hours), and a closing session. The duration of the event will be 2.5 hours.

Although the core of the Meeting will be for intergovernmental organisations, member states will be invited to the event.

All participants are requested to register in advance for this meeting:

https://undp.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpcOiorDgrHtVjzaorx2-5JQLTEVSpnYlH

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


[1] The previous meeting (19th session) was held in 2016.