South-South and Triangular Industrial Cooperation

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UNIDO triangular industrial cooperation publication Cover Photo


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations mandated to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID). This mandate is fully recognized in Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9) and relevant to all goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Advancing ISID and meeting the SDGs requires the international community to strengthen existing partnerships and networks and to forge new ones on global, regional and sub-regional levels.

The aim of South-South cooperation is to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by sharing resources, knowledge and solutions among peoples and countries of the South. As such, the South-South cooperation approach is explicitly recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and was subsequently reinforced by the adoption of the Buenos Aires outcome document of the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation held in 2019.

The importance of South-South and triangular cooperation is further underlined in the Abu Dhabi declaration, which was adopted at the eighteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference. The declaration highlights the need for effective international cooperation for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, including South-South and triangular cooperation, through the exchange of knowledge, best practices and capacity-building and the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, to respond to the intensifying challenges of poverty and hunger eradication, as well as peace and security, climate change, pollution and environmental degradation, growing inequality and emerging trends such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

UNIDO has a long-standing history of supporting and promoting South-South and Triangular Industrial Cooperation (SSTIC) among its Member States. This brochure is published in the context of the expanding role of South-South cooperation in the global development landscape and builds on UNIDO’s long-standing experience in promoting South-South cooperation throughout its technical assistance projects, programmes, networks, partnerships, and global forum activities.

Technologies and solutions tried and tested under similar contexts help southern countries to tap into locally available capacities and assets to solve development challenges in a framework of mutually beneficial collaboration. UNIDO’s SSTIC modalities not only form the basis of a large number of technical assistance projects, but also feature prominently in the Organization’s key programmatic approaches, the Programmes for Country Partnership (PCPs) and the Country Programmes (CPs).

The achievements presented in this brochure serve as a cross-section of UNIDO’s SSTIC activities, showing a variety of facets and approaches to SSTIC, which could be replicated by other developing countries and adapted to local needs.

Going forward, UNIDO will continue working closely with its Member States in order to promote ISID supported through the SSTIC modality. In particular, UNIDO is committed to provide a stimulus towards enhanced partnerships by forging strong links among developing countries, while at the same time enabling new partnerships with traditional donor countries. By enabling the sharing of effective solutions, knowledge, skills and resources among its southern Member States, UNIDO is forging new pathways for ISID and the achievement of the SDGs.

LI Yong
Director General
United Nations Industrial Development Organization