South-South knowledge-sharing crucial for ending poverty and achieving the global goals

At the second annual Global Goals Week in New York this year, the Republic of Uganda and UNDP convened a special event to look at a critical issue on the path to a more equitable future – that of transferring tested solutions and knowledge to other countries in support of their own national priorities.

Photo- Emmanuel Akinbobola: UNDP

Global Goals Week takes place each September, marking the anniversary of the agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) at the United Nations. Each year, events take place across New York and bring together individuals, governments, the private sector, international organizations, civil society organizations and other partners to showcase innovative solutions and partnerships in support of the Goals.

Adonia Ayebare, Ambassador of Uganda to the United Nations, and President of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation said, all developing countries, regardless of size or level of development, have accumulated knowledge that can provide cost-effective and replicable solutions to the challenges faced by other developing countries. 

“Many have even come together to find collective solutions and actions to development challenges,” he said. “To accelerate results, developing countries are in a unique position to identify and scale up tested, powerful and cost-efficient development solutions, of high relevance to other countries with similar realities.”

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator emphasized UNDP’s role in addressing the knowledge gap that many countries face when confronting their poverty challenges, and emphasized that South-South Cooperation has become a “way we conduct business on a daily basis” because it has proven to deliver results on the ground.

“The challenge we are finding is moving from making lessons and best practices available to all, to working with our development partners on the ground to choose the right lessons and then tailoring them to specific contexts so they can have the best possible development impact.”

He highlighted the added value of new technologies, such as the web-based SSMart for SDGs (global-ssmart.org), which UNDP launched in November 2016. It helps bridge the knowledge gap by proving a platform through which innovative solutions to countries’ own development challenges can be shared with others facing the same demand. The Government of the Republic of Korea has partnered with UNDP and supported SSMart through the joint Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities Initiative.

SSMart will seek to capture the wealth of information already available through partners engaged in South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director, UN Office for South-South Cooperation noted that thousands of thinktanks are “springing up across the South,” developing concrete ideas and proposals of how to advance development and achieve Agenda 2030.

“UNOSSC is engaged with UNDP in a network of over 200 Southern thinktanks that are working on development issues from a Southern perspective,” Chediek said. “Not only are we developing our own solutions, we are developing our own ways of thinking and sharing.”

UNOSSC is facilitating a process to channel this Southern thought leadership into the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, which United Nations Member States will convene to mark the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aries Plan of Action (BAPA) in March 2019.

BAPA+40 will be a landmark event to consider how to scale up South-South and triangular cooperation toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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