UNICEF Supports and Promotes South-South Cooperation toward Accelerating SDG Results for Children

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UNICEF joins the global South-South community in celebrating the International Day for South-South cooperation.

With a global footprint in 190 countries and numerous global partnerships, UNICEF actively supports and promotes South-South cooperation (SSC) to scale-up good practices and solutions from the global South to accelerate results for children. Powered by our presence and work on the ground in close collaboration with governments and local partners, UNICEF facilitates the regional and global exchange of solutions, expertise and knowledge generated from years of development gains and success stories, tapping into the deep expertise in programme countries.

For example, a collaboration between UNICEF and governments that have successfully eliminated Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis – Cuba, Thailand and Malaysia – seeks to facilitate South-South cooperation for increased access to technical assistance and proven models by other countries on the road to EMTCT. The potential for South-South cooperation to scale-up EMTCT success was discussed at a side-event during the Second UN High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperationheld in Buenos Aires on March 2019. The event was co-hosted by UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with the Ministries of Health of Cuba and Malaysia, who shared their experience.At the conference, UNICEF also launched jointly with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, a publication on South-South in Action for Children. It highlighted consolidated work on South-South cooperation for Early Childhood Development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and innovations for children.

UNICEF’s 2018 publication, South-South Cooperation for Children, showcased examples of South-South cooperation supported by UNICEF, including a series of Asian-wide Conferences on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights, South2South Collaboration for health towards improving maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in South Asia; A Community of Practice on Cash Transfers for Africa; and SSC to increase access to safe drinking water.

UNICEF is engaging with the Government of China on South-South cooperation. Following the humanitarian support China provided through UNICEF for children in Lebanon and Somalia, we are embarking on South-South cooperation in maternal, newborn and child health in eight countries across Africa, with more plans in the pipeline.

According to the Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), Wang Xiaotao, “China has worked closely with UNICEF under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) to provide assistance to women and children in other developing countries and achieved positive results. UNICEF is an important partner of CIDCA, and the two sides have close ideas and broad prospects for cooperation.”[1]

On the other hand, in Brazil, UNICEF’s over ten years of experience in supporting South-South cooperation between Brazil and other countries resulted in Trilateral SSC (TSSC) initiatives with some 20 countries from across six regions from Ethiopia to Paraguay, from Yemen to Sao Tome and Principe, from Nepal to Armenia. Programme areas included Child Protection, ECD, Health, Social Protection and WASH.

This broad and rich experience has led to a strategic partnership between UNICEF Brazil and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) of the Ministry of External Relations – the overall coordinating body of Brazil’s technical SSC agenda, and a current stage of joint efforts to refine the ABC-UNICEF TSSC programme design, based on a stronger base of evidence and sharpened tools for monitoring and evaluation.

According to Cecilia Malaguti do Prado, Manager of Trilateral South-South Cooperation with International Organizations in ABC, “UNICEF has the expertise and a consolidated relationship with the partner country. UNICEF’s capacity to conduct research, identify and systematize best practices is really special.”

UNICEF and United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) with the International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth based in Brazil co-host a global Community of Practice on South-South Cooperation for Children. Since its inception in February 2018, the community has hosted four thematic global webinars on WASH, ECD, EMTCT and innovations for children’s rights and well-being. It is hosting a global webinar on SSC for maternal and child health on October 10, 2019.

We invite you to join our community and be part of the global community of practitioners for SSC for children’s results, as well as, our internal SSC Community in Yammer.