Rome – The UN Rome-based Agencies (RBAs), namely, FAO, IFAD and WFP, observed the UN Day for South-South Cooperation with an event hosted at WFP which highlighted the importance of “leaving no one behind” in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event built on the recognition of the rising importance of South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC), and the call for more investments in this area which found global endorsement earlier this year at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), held in March in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At this conference, SSTC was recognized as a critical driver for attaining the objectives of Agenda 2030. A crowd of over 170 participants attended the event, confirming a great success.
The event focused on the theme “Leaving no one behind in achieving SDG 2: Opportunities for the RBAs to broker South-South Cooperation after BAPA+40”. It featured the voices from host governments, from the field, Board Members, and the RBAs, in order to shed light on concrete country examples and opportunities to reach the most vulnerable people through SSTC in areas such as family farming, market access for rural women, and engagement opportunities for the rural youth.
The RBAs have been supporting developing countries to advance progress towards Zero Hunger, through SSTC mechanisms. The joint projects presented during the event, including the ones in Sri Lanka and Ecuador, demonstrated the efficiency of the collaboration among the RBAs in promoting family farming, creating opportunities for youth, and empowering women to better access market opportunities in rural areas.
“South-South and triangular cooperation is the way of the future – it is how assistance, knowledge sharing and expertise can be truly sustainable,” said Mr. Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director (WFP) and host of the event.
Mr. Roberto Ridolfi, Assistant Director-General, Programme Support and Technical Cooperation (FAO) stated that “SSTC is opening a new door and we can see this happening in concrete forms. The beauty of SSTC is that if we manage to solve SDG 2 we will be able to solve SDG 1 and consequently SDG 12, which is related to sustainable consumption and production. The linkages of the different SDGs that we focus on is what makes our collaboration profitable.”
Mr. Ron Hartman, Director of the Global Engagement, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Division at IFAD, emphasized the importance of empowering the young people in rural areas of developing countries in the three agencies’ SSTC activities. By ensuring the employment of young people in the agriculture sector, we can support the reduction of migration trends and the general increase of livelihoods in rural areas.
As envisioned in the 2017 RBAs Roadmap on SSTC presented at the Global South-South Development Expo in Antalya (Turkey), the event provided a unique occasion to emphasize the complementary strengths of the three RBAs, which are key to achieving greater impact at country level. The constantly growing collaboration among the RBAs will support a growing number of countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda, through innovative collaboration modalities.