New York, USA: 31 January 2018 – The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today co-organized a Global Thinkers Dialogue with the China Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD).
“South-South cooperation enables countries to develop through drawing from each other’s experiences, acknowledging that development must be locally-focused and contextually-appropriate” said Dr. Sen Gong, Executive Vice President of CIKD. “Through CIKD, we hope to bring together and share this experience so that all may learn.”
H.E. Mr. Modest Jonathan Mero, Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations, noted that dominant development frameworks often cannot adequately explain the success of developing countries, including China. Ambassador Mero emphasized the importance of bolstering infrastructure and markets to facilitate development. Drawing from the experience of his country, he explained that many countries of the South are already working together in these vital areas.
The dialogue was organized under the umbrella of the South-South Global Thinkers: the Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation initiative. The South-South Global Thinkers initiative was launched by UNOSSC and UNDP in 2017 as a joint effort to draw on the high-quality expertise of think tank networks and research institutes and to develop a platform for South-South cooperation research and knowledge sharing.
The research and knowledge generated under this initiative will inform global policy dialogues and support preparations for the upcoming Second United Nations High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40).
The establishment of CIKD was announced by President Xi Jinping of China during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. It provides a platform for various countries to research and exchange development theories and development practices that suit their respective national contexts. CIKD was founded in March 2017 and officially launched in August 2017.
Mr. Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC, reiterated the importance of generating and sharing research on South-South and triangular cooperation in the lead-up to the 2019 Second High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina (BAPA+40). “There is presently no systematic, widely available information on the trends and patterns of South-South cooperation,” Mr. Chediek said. “It is for this reason that UNOSSC and UNDP jointly launched the South-South Global Thinkers initiative”. Mr. Chediek reiterated his desire for UNOSSC to become a robust knowledge hub.
The informal roundtable discussion featured interventions from representatives of Member States, UN entities, and civil society. Participants agreed on the need for better platforms and systems to generate and disseminate knowledge on South-South and triangular cooperation. This knowledge would be used for evidence-based decision making and feed into preparations for the upcoming BAPA+40 Conference.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Simona Marinescu, Director of the Development Impact Group, UNDP, stressed the importance of high quality research, and in this regard commended China for its commitment to South-South knowledge exchange.
Watch the dialogue: