United Arab Emirates and the Global South-South Development Expo 2016

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In 2016, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) decided to create a space for United Nations Member States and other partners to collaborate with us in a unique way, to share their key innovations and successes – solutions implemented at home and replicated across the world. Guided by this, UNOSSC branded a publication series titled “South-South in Action”. The focus for the publication would be selected by the country or institution whose successes are highlighted, not by the UNOSSC.

One of the first countries to approach UNOSSC to present their story was the Government of the United Arab Emirates, through its Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.

In 2016, the United Arab Emirates generously hosted and ensured the resounding success of the annual Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo).This was the first ever GSSD Expo hosted by a Member State. Thanks to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Patron of the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment, for the exceptional leadership and generous support to the GSSD Expo 2016. This special edition of South-South in Action is a compilation of not only success stories created in the UAE, but of all the stories shared by Member States and partner institutions during GSSD Expo 2016.

Since its inception in 2008, the GSSD Expo has provided an impressive platform for strategically engaging all development actors, including the private sector and civil society, in a global partnership to showcase and scale up innovative solutions to the development challenges faced by the South. The GSSD Expo 2016, the 8th in its series, was ground-breaking in terms of participation, mutual learning and knowledge-sharing among practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation. We received extremely positive feedback from United Nations Member States, our United Nations colleagues, panellists and audience members alike in recognizing the great success of the event.

The institutional contribution of the Government of the United Arab Emirates through the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment has provided invaluable support to our ongoing efforts to build a global partnership for sustainable development that leverages the effectiveness of Southern development solutions and highlights the progress that countries of the South have made in addressing and overcoming the challenges that they face.

We are proud to present this publication together. The publication demonstrates that there is no “one size fits all” for contributions to building a healthy and sustainable world. As the world looks for solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, contributions like those shared in this volume will deepen the scope of thinking and contribute to broader and more equitable exchanges of Southern knowledge at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai UAE.

Dr. Meshgan Al Awar
Secretary-General on the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment

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