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Celebrating over three decades of operations, the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF) is a proven model and impactful tool for catalysing cooperation among developing countries. It is no surprise that the PGTF approach, its uniqueness and its broad reach across the South have been praised extensively at the highest political levels. The distinguishing features of PGTF are:

• Its focus on cross-country collaboration, which brings governments and institutions from the global South together through joint projects, increasing their capacities and activities thanks to their combined strengths;

• Its facilitation of cooperation by a minimum of three countries. While funding for national development projects is available from multiple sources, support for international cooperation is known to be scarce for
institutions in developing countries and thus makes an important difference;

• An endowment fund combined with yearly voluntary contributions from numerous States, which provides for a steady resource flow and continuous political engagement;

• An emphasis on small-scale, catalytic projects producing concrete impact and meaningful results, particularly in the production and sharing of  knowledge, support to policy-setting, capacity-and network-building, and incubation of broader cooperative initiatives;

• An extensive constituency and wide participation, with 143 countries, large and small, least developed and middle-income, insular and landlocked benefiting from PGTF projects;

• Substantial cash and in-kind contributions by all project partners, which represent at least 50 per cent of the budget of each project and result in strong ownership by partners, management efficiencies and a lower administrative burden;

• Governance and administrative responsiveness, since the Committee of Experts that leads PGTF consistently:

  • Endeavours to accommodate all eligible funding requests by apportioning funds not simply as a matter of budget availability but also as a result of the total number of eligible proposals received, and
  • Defers to the priorities and technical knowledge of implementing partners;

• Cooperation with and through the multilateral system, with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) serving as fund manager and co-secretariat of PGTF and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country offices acting as partners in the implementation and disbursement of PGTF funds;

• Strong partnership and coordination with the Group of 77 (G-77) through its Executive Secretariat, which serves as co-secretariat of PGTF activities; and

• A commitment to full transparency, since proposals, approvals, project information, project outcome reports and financial data are regularly made available online through the PGTF-dedicated pages of the G-77 website.

This South-South in Action Special Edition report describes the widespread successes of PGTF, featuring the characteristics of its portfolio and describing recent projects and their impact. It presents compelling testimony to the great value of the cooperation model of this fund and its operative tools.

Convinced that PGTF has been highly instrumental in connecting Southern institutions through small-scale projects that result in broader impact, we congratulate regular PGTF partners on three decades of achievements and look forward to additional partnerships and contributions from member States in order to further support expanded collaboration.

Mr. Jorge Chediek,

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

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees,
Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations and Chair of the
Group of 77

Mr. Eduardo Praselj,

Chair of the Committee of Experts of the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund