Global South solidarity is an enabler of positive peace and inclusive development. In a changing context and a multipolar world, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) understand that is relevant, now more than ever, to create the cooperation mechanisms and programmes facilitating systematic dialogue, mutual learning and support across all regions and in which no state or community is left behind, including Small States.
Guided by this common vision, the UNOSSC and COMSEC dedicated teams working in the areas of peace, good governance and inclusive development met in London to continue designing a demand-driven strategy. Over the course of 2 days of internal joint designing sessions, the team composed by Cecilia Milesi, UNOSSC Senior Adviser of Peace and Development and staff of the Commonwealth Secretariat – Head of Good Offices for Peace, Tres-Ann Kremer and Head of Electoral Support, Martin Kasirye – considered creating a collaborative process which firstly, will entail mapping the challenges, needs and demands for Southern cooperation from Global South Commonwealth States and, subsequently, create the opportunities for thematic knowledge exchanges oriented to long-term policy-making.
Considering the South-South cooperation principles, the initial consultative process will be the basis to mobilise and connect member states with those actors who successfully implemented good practices, solutions and policy alternatives positively transforming peoples’ lives throughout the Global South. UNOSCC and COMSEC will support and facilitate the creation of learning spaces and moments -both on-line and off-line- for the transfer of knowledge on conflict prevention and transformation, inclusive development. UNOSSC and COMSEC assume that because this programme will be generated from the demand from member states while counting with the solidarity of partners, lessons learnt will inspire and create the political momentum for long-term implementation of policies and programmes towards effective peace and development impact. Lessons learnt will be adapted by national governments considering specific contexts, political challenges and local citizens’ legitimate appeals.
As conveying partners, UNOSSC and COMSEC will enhance and utilize their respective management tools and partnerships in order to ensure the transparent, efficient, participatory and Global-South lead process. For example, UNOSSC will provide its South-South Galaxy platform and the expertise from Global South thinkers with expertise on peace and development. COMSEC will utilise its Commonwealth Connects platform to support the initial engagement with its membership and will also draw on its convening power and years of generating solid dialogue and thought leadership on the opportunities and challenges of small states.
The initial results of this process will be showcased during the Second United Nations High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) with the aim to generate and expand evidence-based and results oriented Global South alliances for conflict prevention, peace and inclusive development. During a dedicated BAPA+40 side-event, member states and participants will discuss and debate results from practice in order to inform policy decisions in a crucial moment in which South-South principles and demand-driven model for cooperation offer alternative pathways to attain the Sustainable Development Goals leaving no-one behind.
Link to Comsec press released (12 Sept 2018): http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/supercharging-economic-development-through-south-south-collaboration