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Supercharging economic development through South-South collaboration

12 September 2018

The Commonwealth joins in marking UN Day for South-South Cooperation, and the 40th anniversary of the 1978 adoption, by consensus, of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among developing countries. 

As a practical example of steps being taken towards greater inclusiveness and collaboration, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland today announced that the Commonwealth Secretariat is to sign a new agreement with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC),

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations, to be signed in New York during the UN General Assembly later this month, aims to boost collaboration among countries of the Global South – nations classified as developing or least developed.

The Secretary-General said, “Since taking on the role of Commonwealth Secretary-General, I have become more aware than ever of the challenges facing developing and least developed countries. I know just how deeply exercised leaders in the Global South are by the harsh reality of crushing debt, the constant threat of natural disasters, struggling health and education systems, uncertain global markets and tantalising trade opportunities that are just out of reach through lack of capacity.

“I have also seen how prospects and progress can be supercharged when countries of the Global South collaborate and tap into the talent and ingenuity available within their own populations.”

The MOU will help the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNOSSC to work more closely together towards accelerating economic development by promoting partnerships, coordinated activities, South-South knowledge sharing, and scaling up and showcasing development solutions from the Global South.

It will cover a range of areas including:

  • supporting intra-regional, regional, and sub-regional integration;
  • addressing challenges related to the mandate of each participant such as education, public health, social welfare, infrastructure, women in development, youth leadership and climate change and related areas;
  • reinforcing peacebuilding and sustainable development;
  • and promoting and supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We have already been encouraging and facilitating this type of collaboration through initiatives such as our Commonwealth Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, which is strengthening rule of law and regulatory frameworks by enabling countries to learn from each other as they share their legal instruments and legislation,” said Secretary-General Scotland.

She added, “Our Climate Finance Access Hub, draws expertise from all over the Commonwealth and is creating regional and pan-Commonwealth networks that have already unlocked millions of US dollars’ worth of funding for countries. This MOU with UNOSSC will help us to multiply such success stories.”

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