GSSD Expo 2018: Summary of the pre-Expo discussions and satellite side events held on 27 Nov 2018

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DAILY SUMMARY – Tuesday, 27 November 2018


Welcome to New York for the 2018 Global South-South Development Expo!

As we are preparing for the official opening of the Expo tomorrow, today we’ve had some interesting pre-Expo side-events and discussions which have all reiterated the important role and the great potential of South-South and triangular cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Some of the highlights of today’s discussions include the following:


The round table, organised by UNICEF and UNOSSC in collaboration with the Governments of Argentina, Thailand, Uganda and the Islamic Development Bank, called for building a stronger case for South-South and triangular cooperation in improving the well-being of children and young people.

  • For example, the representatives of Health Ministries of Cuba and Thailand showcased their experiences in eliminating mother-to-child transition of HIV, which have been shared with other countries in the South and provide good examples of political will, financial commitment and cross-sectoral partnerships.
  • UNICEF shared its experience of harnessing technology in Africa through the mobile health monitoring tool RapidPro that allows to collect real time information on health, education and child protection. While the tool was built in the South, it has now been adopted in countries of the North to address development challenges in their national contexts.
  • The Islamic Development Bank shared its experience as a connector and catalyst in providing support and building capacity in priority areas using the Reverse Linkage (RL) conceptual framework. Since 2014 over 20 RL projects with the budget of $130 million have been implemented, which are owned by countries and national partners.
  • Morocco shared its experience as a regional leader of South-South Cooperation in providing support for entrepreneurship for young people in Africa, promoting scientific cooperation and academic mobility, and improving living conditions for children and young people in cities.


Participants at the 2nd Steering Committee meeting for the South-South Global Thinkers networks members and founders, organized by UNOSSC and UNDP, discussed the progress of their work and identified research priorities that would feed into the 2019 agenda. All representatives of the six Think Tank Network members and founders were present. Specifically, participants:

  • Reviewed activities conducted in 2018 and reflected on what has emerged from the first round of research pieces that were commissioned by UNOSSC and UNDP.
  • Identified and agreed on the priority research topics to be conducted by the think tank networks for the second round of research.
  • Identified and agreed on high-level policy events and advocacy campaigns at the global levels (ie. BAPA+40 side event, regional events)

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The side-event on Implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration emphasized the important role of South-South cooperation as a driver for regional cooperation. Speakers shared experiences of Africa, Latin America and Asia in managing migration and offered suggestions for addressing the challenges that migrants face. Several initiatives and tools have been highlighted including the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and the Better Migration Management initiative in the Horn of Africa which addresses trafficking and smuggling of migrants. It has been agreed that a holistic approach to migration is needed, with appropriate coordination and accountability mechanisms, to make migration better for all and make it work for development. Technical assistance, evidence-based knowledge and partnerships, including through triangular cooperation, are critical to ensure benefits of migration.


The side-event on Inclusive Partnerships for South-South Cooperation focused on the increasingly important role of China in development cooperation and discussed challenges and opportunities for leveraging partnerships and financing for development. For example, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with UNDP provided support through the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation to countries in Asia and the Caribbean to manage disasters and enhance resilience of local communities. Several intraregional integration processes such as ASEAN have also been mentioned, which have a strong agenda on economic and social development in the region and thus foster South-South cooperation. Participants underlined that in order to be successful, partnerships need to fit local contexts, be inclusive and collective by engaging partners from the private sector and civil society.


As today’s discussions have concluded, we are looking forward to seeing you at the High-Level Opening Ceremony tomorrow 28 November at 9am sharp in Conference Room 1 of the United Nations Secretariat and continuing our engagement throughout the event!


Best regards,

The GSSD Expo Team


[Not an official record]