About South-South Cooperation
South-South Cooperation (SSC) is an essential cross-cutting mechanism designed to enhance UNEP’s ability to deliver environmental capacity building and
technology-support activities in developing countries and regions of the South. The implementation of the SSC initiative is being carried out as part of the
Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building, a UN-approved approach to assisting developing countries. The Bali Strategic Plan serves as
an umbrella framework for the “coherent, coordinated and effective delivery of environmental capacity-building and technical support activities” in response to
well-defined country priorities and needs.
The increasing relevance and importance of SSC has been stressed at major international events including UN General Assembly sessions and resolutions.
In recognition of the shift in perceptions about emerging trends in SSC, UNEP has embarked on a process to actively promote the streamlining of
approaches in South-South Cooperation in the implementation of the capacity-building components of its biennial programmes of work. The shift in
emphasis stems from the recognition that:
the experiences and successes that many countries of the Global South have
achieved in environment-related areas can provide valuable impetus, ideas and
means for other countries in the South to address similar concerns and
South-South Cooperation can increase the flow of information, resources,
expertise and knowledge among developing countries at reduced costs; and
technology transfer among developing countries and capacity building in
environmentally sound use of technologies and sustainable management of natural
resources are key for the development of the South.
In addition, SSC is now widely recognized as a key mechanism for the development agenda of countries of the South. It enjoys broad-based support from
both the donor community and developing countries. Specifically:
The recognition by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) of SSC and triangular cooperation as significant complements to Official
Development Assistance is a major breakthrough in global dialogue processes
concerning development assistance.
The G-8 summit, which met in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005, committed to
redouble its efforts to achieve a successful conclusion across the whole of the
Doha Development Agenda and acknowledged this agenda as being vital to drive
growth and boost incomes across the world.
UN summits also acknowledge the
achievements and great potential of SSC as an effective contribution to
development and call on the international community, including international
financial institutions, to support the efforts of developing countries through
triangular cooperation, among other approaches.
Within the UN system, a number
of UN agencies (UNDP, UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNESCO, WHO, FAO, etc.) have strategic and
operational mechanisms to promote SSC to address their respective institutional
and capacity development mandates.
At the regional level, a number of regional
groupings and forums (e.g. AMCEN, NEPAD, etc.) have also called for increased
efforts to mainstream SSC in the work of key environment and development partners.
Several regional SSC initiatives have been established to foster cooperation
among developing countries and also provide opportunities and options for
coordinated strategic action in advancing SSC approaches.