UNESCO – South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Action (2018)

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UNESCO and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) are pleased to jointly present this edition of South-South in Action (SSiA). It is UNESCO’s first dedicated report on South-South and triangular cooperation, and presents an overall picture of the progress in UNESCO’s areas of competence. Through these reports, UNOSSC is providing a space for partners to share successful South-South and triangular development practices. 

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing sustainable development mark a new era of commitment for South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation. This new impetus is also reflected in frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Agenda for Humanity, and the New Urban Agenda.

South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation are making an important contribution to the global partnership for sustainable development. The number of developing countries providing development cooperation increased from 66 to 74 per cent between 2015 and 20171, demonstrating the changing landscape of international development cooperation. 

They continue to evolve, with an increasing emergence of sub-national entities – such as municipal and provincial governments – and non-State actors. UNESCO recognizes the distinctive value of South-South and triangular cooperation as an important way to implement its programmes and ensure impact, particularly for its global priorities gender equality and Africa. Through such cooperation, UNESCO is developing new multi-stakeholder partnerships, supporting policy dialogue, capacity building, regional integration and knowledge sharing to support countries from the global South to reach their development objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals. This publication demonstrates how UNESCO is promoting such cooperation to advance inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning; to bolster science, technology and innovation; to promote culture and communication for sustainable development; to build resilience in the face of climate change, conflicts and disasters; and to support youth development and engagement. It is an important contribution to our understanding of South-South and triangular cooperation, particularly in the run-up to the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South- South Cooperation in March 2019, which will provide an opportunity to review lessons learned over the past four decades since the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for cooperation between developing countries. 

Audrey Azoulay 

Director General United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 

UNESCO is committed to strengthening South-South and triangular cooperation through developing new forms of support, new integrated approaches and new partnerships for innovative action to build a sustainable, peaceful future. 

Jorge Chediek 

Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation