Objectives and Thematic Focus

In response to a need to create a space for directors general and practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation to discuss how to improve South-South and triangular cooperation and to facilitate innovative partnership among all stakeholders, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly launched the DG Forum during the first Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) in 2008. Since then, the DG Forum has been an integral part of the GSSD Expo.

The annual DG Forum brings together Directors General from cooperation agencies of national governments of the South and the North that are already working on South-South and triangular cooperation or are ready to engage in such cooperation in the near future. The Forum also offers an opportunity to make proposals for further mainstreaming South-South and triangular cooperation and to discuss the expected role of UNOSSC and other United Nations organizations. It is intended to facilitate peer-learning and exchange ideas on policy, strategy and institutional and financial tools for South-South and triangular cooperation as well as management capacity.

Furthermore, the Forum offers a partnership building opportunity and matchmaking among Southern practitioners for scaling up South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives.

This 9th DG Forum will be co-organized by UNOSSC and JICA and hosted by the Government of Turkey. The Forum is a multi-stakeholders platform of South-South cooperation and is an open space for Directors General of development cooperation agency and practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation.

The theme of this year’s DG Forum is “Voices of Practitioners of South-South and Triangular Cooperation and the Road towards the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA +40 Conference)”.

The High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, known as BAPA+40 Conference, will be held in Buenos Aires from 20 to 22 March 2019. The Conference is a major event on South-South cooperation. The overall objective of the High-level Conference is to review trends in South-South and triangular cooperation, including the progress made by the international community, and the United Nations in particular, in supporting and promoting such cooperation. The Conference will also identify new opportunities that South-South cooperation presents and the solutions to address sustainable development challenges. The Conference is also expected to respond to the needs and challenges faced by the practitioners of South-South and triangular cooperation and to generate innovative approaches of South-South and triangular cooperation. The active involvement of practitioners of South-South cooperation in the preparatory process and the Conference itself will be key to achieve this objective. The DG Forum of this year will be a good occasion to engage in discussions on how South-South cooperation institutional arrangements and partnerships could contribute to sustainable development.

During the DG Forum, there is a special session on the BAPA+40 Conference, followed by the three key topics on (a) capacity development; (b) regional cooperation; and (c) partnerships and resources mobilization, which could feed into the preparation of the BAPA+40 Conference. Those three themes are the most cited topics in the answers received from Southern practitioners through a demand survey conducted by UNOSSC. This year, the participants will have more time for interactive discussion to deepen their understanding of topics and to come up with concrete solutions, proposals and joint initiatives.


The sessions for the 2017 DG Forum are the following:

a) Opening

b) Special session on the BAPA+40 Conference, addressing how South-South cooperation can respond to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • The session will give practitioners of South-South cooperation the possibility to discuss their expectations and recommendations towards BAPA+40 Conference and the contribution to achieving goals of 2030 Agenda.

c) Capacity development in institutional arrangement and management of South-South and triangular cooperation, with special focus on the matrixes of South-South cooperation.

  • There is an increased demand for capacity development in management of South-South and triangular cooperation. The session will introduce capacity development opportunities to strengthening institution’s South-South and triangular cooperation management. Furthermore, the session will highlight matrixes of South-South and triangular cooperation on both the national and regional levels. This session also introduces good examples of institutional arrangements and legal frameworks at the national level and how they can be adapted to other countries’ context.

d) Strengthening regional cooperation through South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development.

  • There are many good practices of South-South and triangular cooperation through intra- and inter-regional cooperation. This session will focus on recent trends, strategies and lessons learned on regional cooperation.

e) Ways to foster the mobilization of resources to further strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation and partnerships.

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stresses the importance of revitalizing global partnership for sustainable development. This session will explore the ways to promote South-South and triangular cooperation through innovative funding and inclusive partnerships.

f) Closing


Design of the DG Forum:

PRE-FORUM: The concept note will be distributed to all countries with a request for those interested in presenting during any of the three segments to come forward. A brief summary of the presentation will be required. Countries interested in proposing presentations are encouraged to respond during this period (Time frame: September – October 2017).

DURING FORUM: Selected cases will be showcased and/or launched during the DG Forum. Furthermore, participants will have networking opportunities through bilateral meetings with potential partners facilitated by the DG Forum Secretariat (Time frame: 30 November 2017).

POST-FORUM: The selected initiatives will be followed up by DG Forum participants engaged/interested in initiatives for successful implementation of scaling up post-Expo.


Request for participants:

  • Online registration for DG Forum is required. Click here to register.
  • Interested participants can reserve room(s) in advance for bilateral meetings during the Expo (details will be available in early November).


Concrete outcome/s:

  • Through the Forum, participants will deepen their understanding of the topics discussed and take the lessons learned to be applied and adapted within a national context for further strengthening of South-South and triangular cooperation.
  • Partnership building among participants will be fostered through bilateral meetings, which will eventually contribute to creating new South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives/projects, signing of partnership agreements, etc.
  • The outcome of the “Capacity Development in Management of South-South and Triangular Cooperation” project will be presented.
  • Participants will be more familiar with the objectives and the importance of BAPA+40 that aims to harness South-South and triangular knowledge for sustainable development.


Focal Point Contact Details

Overall Coordinator: Tarik Iziraren, Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Partnerships, UNOSSC

Communications Focal Point: Tarik Iziraren, Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Partnerships, UNOSSC; Yoko Shimura, Programme Analyst, UNOSSC

Emails: unossc.dgspace@undp.org; tarik.iziraren@undp.org; yoko.shimura@undp.org

Phones: +1 212 906-5609; +1 212 906-3642