Brussels, 12 September 2020/OACPS/UNOSSC: The United Nations (UN) General Assembly, through resolution 58/220 of 2004, declared 12 September of each year as the “United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation’’. Today’s celebration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation precedes the 75th anniversary of the UN General Assembly which will be commemorated under the theme “South-South and Triangular Cooperation as an expression of the international solidarity to face global challenges’’.

The Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States Secretariat (OACPS) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) have clearly expressed, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016, their commitment to work together and coordinate their actions towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through enhancing South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms.

Member States at the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) called for a stronger Southern partnership for sustainable development, underpinned by the guiding principles of South-South cooperation. The BAPA+40 Outcome emphasizes that South-South and triangular cooperation are important elements of global development cooperation toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As a concrete follow-up to BAPA+40, and under the strategic partnership framework between the two organizations, the OACPS Secretariat and the UNOSSC produced a joint publication on, “South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Action”, to showcase the OACPS’ insightful experiences accumulated over more than 40 years in the field of South-South and triangular cooperation. The OACPS today, applauds the UNOSSC on the launch of the publication of, “Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development – Vol. 3”, which features close to 200 good practices from 35 Member States and many other development partners, and which seeks to promote South-South cooperation and expand South-South and triangular collaboration for development.

The month of September 2020 also marks the operationalisation of the OACPS’ Centre for South-South and Triangular Cooperation established in Malabo, in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The Centre will be a technical arm, a focal point and a facilitator for the exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices on South-South and triangular cooperation among the Members of the OACPS and beyond.

The UN Day for South-South cooperation is being celebrated within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has had devastating impacts on health and economic systems all over the world, and particularly in the developing countries with less capacities to face such large-scale challenges. This is posing a serious risk of reversing the gains achieved by developing countries on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

In recognition of the negative impact of COVID-19, the OACPS, in June 2020, held its first extraordinary Inter-Sessional Heads of State and Government Summit to facilitate dialogue among OACPS leaders and key development partners to find common strategies and synergies to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. The main outcome of the Summit was the reaffirmation by all present, of the need for global unity and solidarity to combat the virus.

The principle of solidarity, strongly emphasized in the BAPA+40 outcome document, has always been considered as a cornerstone of the South-South cooperation model, is now even more needed in the current context of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and calls for more coordinated actions to devise strategies and plans to build resilience and better respond to emergencies and hazardous situations in the future.

The OACPS Secretariat and the UNOSSC are committed to contributing to the international community’s efforts to respond to global challenges, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and look forward to continued collaboration to promote South-South and triangular cooperation.