Development Cooperation Agencies Chart Post-BAPA+40 Roadmap

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Mr. Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, addresses the DG Forum.

The 11th High-Level Forum of Directors General for Development Cooperation took place in Istanbul, Turkey on 13 December 2019. The DG Forum 2019 was convened under the overall theme of “Charting the Post-BAPA+40 Roadmap for South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Towards Effective Institutionalization of South- South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development”. The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized the Forum, with the collaboration and support of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and in coordination with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

The DG Forum brought together the heads of development cooperation agencies and institutions and other partners for the first time following the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

The DG Forum was an opportunity for practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation to reflect and exchange views on ways and approaches to implement the BAPA+40 Outcome Document of the Conference.

Issues discussed included: Institutionalizing South-South and triangular cooperation at the national level as a success factor to achieve BAPA+40 recommendations; Good practices in national institutional arrangements; Assessing results for continuous improvement of South-South and triangular cooperation interventions; The role of multilateral development institutions, regional organizations and United Nations system in supporting and promoting South-South and triangular cooperation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and Mapping the next steps to achieve the BAPA+40 recommendations.

To transform the commitments of the Outcome Document of BAPA+40 into tangible and sustainable actions, as well as to follow up on its implementation, participants of the DG Forum worked on devising actionable and results-oriented solutions.

All partners were invited to utilize the recently launched South-South Galaxy knowledge sharing and partnership-brokering platform through which users can upload and access a broad range of knowledge, solutions, cutting-edge research, capacity building initiatives, and partners.

UNOSSC and APC-Colombia agreed to a joint work plan for 2020, including organization of policy dialogues, knowledge sharing events and identification of good practices.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by UNOSSC and the Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT) focusing on implementing joint South-South cooperation projects, development of a joint South-South in Action publication on contributions to Agenda 2030, exploring the potential for secondments of professionals between the two parties, and developing staff capacity, among others.

UNOSSC and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also met to plan 2020 activities.

A detailed report of the DG Forum will be published and participants are expected to release specific recommendations that can be implemented with the aim of strengthening the institutionalization of South-South and triangular cooperation for effective implementation of the recommendations of BAPA+40 Outcome Document.

Some initial takeaways of the DG Forum are:

  • Strengthening national ecosystems for South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation at the national level is key to achieve the outcomes of BAPA+40.
  • Private sector engagement in South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation must be pursued more seriously. There are good examples but scaling up is vital to achieve sustainable development results.
  • Practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation as encouraged to participate in policy dialogues taking place at the United Nations level, especially during the High-level Committee for South-South Cooperation (the main global and intergovernmental body for norm setting on South-South and triangular cooperation).
  • Bottom-up approaches are needed to develop solutions. Countries themselves must be in the driver’s seat while development organizations must provide the necessary support and facilitation.
  • Development cooperation agencies and institutions are encouraged to use the Directors General Forum as a platform to informally report on their activities in order to identify potential areas for cooperation and partnership.

Photos of the 2019 High-Level Forum of Directors General can be accessed here –

Read more about the High-Level Forum of Directors General for Development Cooperation and access archives of previous Forums.