Bonn, 29 November-1 December 2016
On 29th November, UN staff, government focal points and development practitioners from 14 countries, including the Arab states, Europe and CIS, came together for the launch of a three-day course on “UN Catalytic Support to South-South & Triangular Cooperation in Implementing the Agenda 2030” organized in Bonn, Germany by the UN System Staff College’s (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in close collaboration with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
The Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development was established in 2016 by the United Nations System Staff College in Bonn to respond to the comprehensive learning, training, and knowledge management needs of UN staff and other partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement.
In view of the growing relevance of South-South Cooperation within Agenda 2030, the first ever course co-certified by UNSSC and the UNOSSC worked towards developing a common understanding of the theory and practice of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SS&TC) as a means of development cooperation.
The three days fostered an understanding of the benefits of South-South cooperation and identifying and capitalizing on entry points with the aim of implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The training programme delved into the nature and requirements of the 2030 Agenda, the three pillars of sustainable development, definitions, foundations and the modalities of the South-South & Triangular Cooperation, European engagement with the development actors in the Global South, technical cooperation modalities, experience and reverse linkages approach, case studies from India and Africa, support to the member stations in promoting SS&TC, examples OECD DAC database and many others, all featuring a distinguished resource team from the German Development Institute, Islamic Development Bank, the Consensus Building Institute, University of Mumbai, the South Centre, OECD and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.
In his special video address, Mr. Jorge Chediek, Director UNOSSC and the Envoy on South-South Cooperation also highlighted the historical context and evolution and role of South-South cooperation, current political debate, catalytic role the United Nations, as well as the mandate of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.
The skills-building component of the course addressed the key principles, tools and methods of SS&TC; strengthened stakeholder engagement and negotiation skills that are needed to overcome the underlying negotiation challenges; and also focused on better understanding the roles of different actors involved and mobilizing relevant partnerships. It explored the catalytic role the United Nations can play in helping to further promote the South-South Cooperation agendas of its member states and development partners as a whole.
Through interactive and participatory sessions, combined with inputs from subject matter experts from around the world, participants shared practices and explored ways to enhance South-South cooperation initiatives. Besides learning about practical tools and instruments for SS&TC, participants left the three-day course with new ideas and potential opportunities for collaboration to implement South-South Cooperation in their countries.
The participants acknowledged the importance of the regional and sub-regional dimensions, as well as regional interconnectivity and the role that the South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation plays for achieving sustainable development. One of the key learning takeaways have been that the South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for the North-South cooperation and that the SS&TC eventually should be aimed at pursuing sustainable development.
“It was very enlightening to share experiences with people from different organizations (international, regional, national and sectoral)”, said Marcela Quezada, Coordinator of South-South Cooperation at UNDP Chile.
Another participant, Pelin Musabay Baki, who serves as the Project Director at the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, an intergovernmental organization that works to strengthen cooperation among Turkish speaking states said “I believe that this training should be implemented and multiplied in in the near future”.
We invite up to already sign up for 2017 edition of the “UN Catalytic Support to South-South & Triangular Cooperation in Implementing the Agenda 2030”.
Ms. Aida Ghazaryan
UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development