The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their 169 targets came into effect in January 2016 as the common international goals, applicable not only for developing countries but for all the countries on the planet. They are now guiding policies for the next 15 years, with their core principle of leaving no one behind. Under this framework, South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation are highlighted in Goal 17, partnerships for the Goals, and it is important for every partner to share its good practices and lessons learned with others in order for them to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs more efficiently and effectively. In this way, the importance and reach of South-South and triangular cooperation become greater than ever.
Against this background, in March 2019, the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference) will be held in Buenos Aires to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) of 1978. The Conference will provide the opportunity to discuss and agree on the renewed importance and relevance of South-South and triangular cooperation in the era of the SDGs. Towards this goal, the 2017 High- level Forum of Directors General for Development Cooperation aimed to serve as a venue for practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation to express their voices and opinions based on their own experiences on the ground.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has long supported South-South and triangular cooperation and is proud of co-hosting this annual High-level Forum with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) since 2008. I believe that this Forum offers the best opportunity to exchange knowledge on capacity development, encourage cooperation among Southern countries, and contribute to enhanced partnership among countries. The rich discussion from the Forum can provide guidance to various partners for the betterment of South-South and triangular cooperation, including the creation of a common understanding of the guiding principles of this cooperation. As a collective voice of practitioners, the outcomes of this Forum will be a valuable input to the BAPA+40 Conference.
JICA wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the Government of Turkey and UNOSSC for their contribution to the success of the High-level Forum, which involved the active participation of over 150 practitioners of South-South cooperation. We hope that the Forum and the Global South-South Development Expo will continue to serve as the milestones for these evolving modalities of development cooperation that are central to achieving sustained economic growth and sustainable development.
Director General, Operations Strategy Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency