Event: Scaling up South-South and Triangular Cooperation through Public-Private Alliances and Knowledge Management Tools for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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1. Date, Time and Venue


2. Co-organizers

  • United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)
  • Presidential Agency for International Cooperation of Colombia (APC-Colombia)
  • United Nations Global Compact


3. Background

The challenges of sustainable development require collective, coordinated and complementary actions from all actors of society: governments, civil society and the private sector. In this context, the alignment of business strategies with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is not only necessary for fine tuning business performances, but also required for the advancement of the societal agenda of the whole nation. Thus, the 2030 Agenda represents the perfect opportunity to align business strategies with global goals (SDGs), targets as well as indicators in order to report on impact.

In accordance with the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, global change must be built from the bottom up. “It is at the local and national levels where stakeholders have the space for aligning private action with public policies and for ensuring people are at the center”.

The UN Global Compact through its Local Networks is mobilizing business sectors in more than 70 countries from both Global North and South, by raising awareness towards the role of businesses in the 2030 Agenda and by providing thought trailblazing leaderships, tools, resources and know how. Therefore, the integration of 10 principles for their business models will follow and it will require a synergy between their business strategies with the SDGs, as well as a systematic report on the generated impact.

Moreover, Global Compact Local Networks are fostering the engagement of sustainable and responsible business in the institutional mechanisms enabled by governments at the country level to participate in public-private multi-stakeholder policy dialogues. These dialogue spaces, fortified by United Nations Country Teams, are meant to support the ownership and leadership of country governments, align their actions and policies with the SDGs and foster public-private partnerships and alliances at a country level implementation.

As stated in the Sustainable Development Goal #17, in the capacity building target, countries should “enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity building in developing countries to support national plans and implement all sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation”.

The universality of the 2030 Agenda is a true opportunity to exchange experiences and bring its objectives to a local and regional levels, to connect global and local institutions from Global North and South, Networks of public and private actors.

The Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia), with the support of national and international partners, has adjusted its methodology for identification, systematization and knowledge management of successful cases known as “Saber Hacer Colombia”; thus, it represents a useful tool to clearly recognize and bolster experiences that directly impact the SDGs indicators and that later, could be shared through South-South cooperation synergies.

The “Saber Hacer Colombia” methodology is based on the SDG approach and its main objective is to create a culture where information and knowledge are effectively valued, shared, managed and used. Knowledge exchange can be an extremely valuable tool to promote the learning of the interested parties; but, like all successful approaches, it must be framed in a more general context attached to development and also guided by national priorities in an international context.

The “Saber Hacer Colombia” has been used to identify not only Colombian successful experiences but also foreign ones. This methodology has been shared with other countries in Latin America, South East Asia and Africa, as well as with international organizations.

Therefore, knowledge management methodologies and tools need to be reinforced to solve the challenges that sustainable development implies in general and, environmental sustainability demands specifically.

Through this side event, UNOSSC, UN Global Compact and APC-Colombia would like to make joint efforts to showcase how alliances and knowledge exchanges are today’s most valuable tools to achieve SDG’s at all levels (global, national and local). Hence, the side event will share the importance of promoting alliances and exchanges with various actors such as international institutions, local authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, the media, citizens and the scientific and academic community. Furthermore, the outcome of the discussion can be feed into the preparation of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 20 to 22 March 2019.


4. Objective:

To discuss how South-South and triangular cooperation, particularly through knowledge management and public-private multi-stakeholder alliances, as useful tools, could contribute to the 2030 Agenda.