At BAPA+40 the global development community reiterated its commitment to promote triangular cooperation as a means to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Focusing on BAPA+40 implementation, the fifth international meeting on triangular cooperation in Lisbon, Portugal this week brought together representatives from the public and private sectors, international organizations and civil society.
“The Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) recognized at the political level the positive contribution of triangular cooperation to sustainable development,” said Jorge Chediek, Director of UNOSSC and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, in his keynote address.
Broadly, triangular cooperation can be thought of as collaboration in which traditional donor countries and multilateral organizations facilitate South-South initiatives through the provision of funding, training, management and technological systems as well as other forms of support.
Mr. Chediek highlighted a “large expansion of the scope and the actors of triangular cooperation.” The BAPA outcome document notes that “there has been an expansion of the number of relevant actors in development, including multiple stakeholders, subnational entities and parliamentarians, civil society, private sector, volunteer groups, faith-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, scientific and technological communities, foundations and think-tanks, and academia, as appropriate”.
As the landscape of actors in development cooperation is expanding, many countries are stepping up efforts in strengthening their ecosystems to engage more effectively in development partnerships.
Working trilaterally may require different approaches, processes, institutional and regulatory frameworks, which could be systematically included in new and existing institutions. The meeting included discussions focusing on: Implementing triangular cooperation and strengthening ecosystems; Bringing more partners on board for effective triangular cooperation; A progress report from the Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) on Effective Triangular Cooperation; Implementing effective triangular cooperation – sharing experiences from evaluations, toolkits and guidelines; and What is needed to implement triangular cooperation more effectively.
“Now there is a need to move to action,” Mr. Chediek emphasized. “We have many platforms and tools that give us space to develop and promote triangular cooperation,” he said, “including the High-level Committee for South-South Cooperation, the Directors-General Forum, the UN Interagency Mechanism, various UN policy documents on South-South and triangular cooperation, the Development Cooperation Forum, the G20, and South-South Galaxy.”
UNOSSC stands ready to partner with all stakeholders of South-South and triangular cooperation for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, Mr. Chediek concluded.
“Triangular cooperation is multilateral cooperation,” emphasized Teresa Ribeiro, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal, “There is a need to foster triangular cooperation for sustainable develop as well as a need to gather data.”
Portugal has been playing a prominent role in promoting the international debate on triangular cooperation, through the co-organization of meetings with the OECD, which has given visibility to Portuguese activity in the area and stimulated growing interest from various countries in the establishment of triangular cooperation partnerships with Portugal.
Also addressing the opening of the meeting were Ana Ciuti, President of the Inter-Governmental Council of the Ibero-American Programme for Strengthening South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS) and Director General of International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina; Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of the OECD Development Cooperation Directorate; and Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, Trustee of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; among others.
The meeting was organized by The Camões–Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, I.P. (Portugal), and the OECD Development Cooperation Directorate (DCD), and supported by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and the Ibero-American Programme for the Strengthening of South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS).