South-South and Triangular Cooperation

2023 UN Day for South-South Cooperation: Rwanda Cooperation Initiative (RCI) and three UN Rome-Based Agencies (RBAs) join in Kigali to celebrate Global Partnerships.

© FAO/Luis Tato

08/09/2023 - 

As the world grapples with increasingly complex challenges, South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) is gaining in recognition as a valid mechanism for equitable global development.  This is a perspective shared by the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative (RCI) and three Rome-Based Agencies (RBAs) of the United Nations - the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

A recognized advocate of SSTC, Rwanda has established the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative in 2018 to help streamline the process of collaboration, supporting the identification of shared challenges and co-creating innovative solutions among countries of the Global South. With the RBAs, the RCI will be celebrating the day set aside by the UN to mark the importance of SSTC through a regional event at the Rwanda Cooperation Governance Centre in Kigali.

The theme of the event to be held on 12 September; that of strengthening collaboration and institutional frameworks for effective implementation of SSTC, reflects the focus of these and other development actors on the need for robust partnerships and mechanisms for resource mobilization, knowledge sharing, and policy dialogue in support of transformative development. Participants will represent a cross-section of development actors, and they will explore opportunities for building the strong institutional framework for SSTC that is needed at all levels to enhance its significant development potential.

Given the intricate challenges facing the world today - climate change, conflicts, and continued fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, SSTC has an even more crucial role to play. Countries of the Global South, notably affected by the global economic downturn, stand to benefit immensely from shared experiences and the exchange of lessons learned, thus strengthening their own resilience against current and future adversity. 

Organisations such as FAO have embraced SSTC as a key delivery modality to catalyze agricultural development, food security and poverty reduction. Mr. Ye Anping, Director of SSTC at FAO, underscores the agency's commitment to innovative partnerships, stating, "We firmly believe that sustainable development necessitates innovative approaches from the Global South. As such, our Agency aims to broaden its partnership base with diverse groups of countries in the South to implement impactful SSTC programs and initiatives.”

Mr. David Kaatrud, WFP Director of Programme and Humanitarian Division, further highlights the critical role of SSTC in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, "SSTC empowers institutions and individuals in the Global South to share, adapt, and sustainably implement solutions for eradicating hunger." He adds that through joint initiatives like the Home-Grown School Feeding collaboration being piloted in Rwanda “the RBAs can leverage their respective strengths and forge collaborations with partners in the South to increase their reach and impact.”

The partnership between the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative and the UN Rome-Based Agencies demonstrates the power of collective action in tackling global challenges, by bringing together different stakeholders to advance opportunities for global development and shared prosperity.

Mr. Ronald Hartman, Director of Global Engagement, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization at IFAD comments that regardless of their specific mandates, the RBAs have long recognized that collaboration is essential to ensure efficient use of available resources in the face of increasingly complex development challenges. He welcomes the partnership with the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative, anticipating "an event that will foster beneficial knowledge exchange to support vulnerable and marginalized communities."

For more information, visit the event site at: