South-South Cooperation

Rome-based Agencies reaffirm their commitment with South-South and Triangular Cooperation


IFAD, WFP and FAO commemorated today the UN South-South Cooperation Day together in a joint special event that took place in IFAD Headquarters in Rome

IFAD, WFP and FAO underline the importance of partnerships among the countries in the Global South to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

12/09/2017 - 

Rome, 12 September 2017 – IFAD, WFP and FAO commemorated today the UN South-South Cooperation Day together in a joint special event that took place in IFAD Headquarters in Rome. “It is particularly important that we are commemorating together the UN South-South Cooperation Day to remember the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action in 1978 which gave start to the mainstreaming of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) as a key tool to tackling development issues,” said Daniel Gustafson, FAO Deputy Director General (Programmes).

Emerging economies have stepped up in the last decade in taking the lead in SSTC because of the mutual benefit that it brings this cost-effective, more productive, and more efficient mechanism in providing solutions to development issues thanks to the experience in similar socioeconomic environments, and in nutrition. “It is not surprising that SSTC is high in the agenda of the RBAs,” said Gustafson with regards to its increasing role in fighting food insecurity and malnutrition.

The event took stock of the achievements of each of the agencies so far, and served to identify new ways of working together to achieve more productive results. “We realize the full potential that SSTC has to contribute to economic growth and development,” said Michel Mordasini, IFAD’s Vice President.

Gustafson reminded the long story of FAO SSTC as a leading SSC facilitator. “We provide technical backstopping and quality assurance to the exchanges that have taken place so far in 90 countries. Our main goal is to facilitate the exchange between the demands of the host countries and the supply from the providers while ensuring the quality of the exchange.  FAO currently has 37 SSTC ongoing projects.

The World Food Programme also recognized the value of SSTC in their Programme, “mainly because it is demand driven,” said Stanlake Samkange, Director, Policy and Programme Division, WFP. Their successful experience with the Centres of Excellence sharing knowledge with other countries about Brazil’s school feeding models, with which “we saw the value of countries from the Global South exchanging experiences,” stated Samkange.

More Partnerships

Three Rome-based agencies stressed the importance of the partnership component of SSTC, starting with enhancing and reinforcing the cooperation among themselves.

Mordasini pointed at the private sector and cooperatives, as well as financial institutions of the emerging economies, as priorities for the Organization in the implementation of SSTC projects, as stated in its new IFAD’s approach to South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

IFAD’s Vice President explained that SSTC has become one of the IFAD preferred implementation modalities. It will be one of the key drivers of the Organization for the future alongside the work with the private sector and youth employment.

“FAO’s current main goal regards to SSTC is to engage more countries and a wider range of partners,” said Gustafson. The Organization has recently aligned forces under the same division of the units dedicated to Partnerships with Non-State Actors and South-South and Triangular Cooperation Unit to reinforcing the partnership component of the cooperation among the Global South.

“Empowering southern actors such as the private sector, civil society and cooperatives is crucial, as well as to bear in mind that many innovative solutions and technology come from the South” said Marcela Villarreal, Director of the FAO Partnerships and South-South Cooperation Division. Villarreal also noted that cooperation among Parliamentarians from the Global South and City-to-City is fundamental for creating enabling environments.

The role of SSTC to deliver the Agenda 2030

SSTC has been widely recognized as a key mechanism to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the international community thanks to the different ways of implementation that it offers, which range from resource mobilization to other more innovative modalities, such as different types of in-kind contributions that help bridging the gaps to deliver results. Every country has something to offer when it comes to SSTC.

“India attaches great importance to SSTC,” said the keynote speaker of this special event, Reenat Sandhu, Ambassador of India to Italy, on her speech on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture of India. Mrs Sandhu highlighted that SSTC creates partnerships for mutual benefit and prosperity, for a development that produces lasting public goods and enhances local capacities. India’s Ambassador stated the commitment of her country to share development experience with others to face their development challenges.

India is currently working in SSTC through several multilateral cooperation platforms such as the India-Brazil-South-Africa facility, as well as engaging with traditional donors such as the United Kingdom among others.