Short Summary

The side event for the Pacific Region and other partners interested in “Institutionalisation of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region” will uniquely bring together government Representatives and Non-Governmental Organisations to share their experiences in supporting South-South and triangular cooperation. Thus, the event will provide knowledge on Government policy on South-South cooperation and examples of how the NGOs can support these national aspirations.


Objectives and Thematic Focus

The Asia-Pacific region boasts of some of the strongest exponents, think tanks and leadership in South-South and triangular cooperation. Countries such as China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore and Thailand have contributed to both the practice and discourse on South-South Cooperation (SSC) and in the 1990s were designated as “pivotal” countries by the UN General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. Once home to the highest global poverty rates, today the region is a global engine of growth. Despite these achievements, countries vary in their development trajectory. The past 60 years has produced high income nations such as the Republic of Korea and Singapore, middle income economic giants like China, India, and Indonesia, and less developed countries, just emerging from LDC status, such as Laos or Cambodia. The region also has many Small Island Developing States. The diversity in levels of development across the region has provided unique opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration between countries. This has been particularly evident in sub-regions (such as the Mekong delta) where countries have developed cohesive strategies around provision of public goods. However, while some sub-regions in the Asia-Pacific have reached very high levels of cohesion, the experiences remain uneven.  The presence of high levels of Foreign Direct Investment and ODA has also meant that in the past some smaller countries did not focus on South-South Cooperation as a tool for their development strategies. This however is changing in the 21st century.

Asia-Pacific SSC, like the region’s development, is not homogenous in evolution, form, or application. China and India, the region’s heavyweights, have the resources and capabilities both to invest and offer significant support to partner countries. The two developed countries in the region, the Republic of Korea and Japan, present a different model, sharing cooperation characteristics that blend with Northern donors’ approaches and SSC. Japan is also a leader in triangular cooperation. Emerging economies, such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Mongolia, have experimented with different cooperation modalities and administrative structures. Both Thailand and Indonesia are expanding their triangular cooperation (TrC). While traditional official development assistance remains important, SSC is growing and has proven potentially to be more responsive to new forms of finance, development solutions and knowledge exchange with partners and peers in the region. These phenomena have led to more international attention and interest in Asian approaches to SSC in recent years.

In the recent few months since the UN Office for South-South Cooperation opened its Offices in Asia-Pacific, the trend towards more interest in South-South Cooperation has been noted by its staff in countries that previously pursued a low-level of engagement in South-South Cooperation. Furthermore, a number of Non-Governmental Organisations have demonstrated greater application in supporting South-South Cooperation at the Regional Level.

It is therefore proposed to bring together representatives of Government from selected countries and the NGOs from the Asia-Pacific at a side event in support of the Global South-South Expo.

The Side Event at the GSSD Expo 2017 will be in the context of further stimulating South-South focus and provide options for countries interested in South-South Cooperation to Strengthen their practice for development. The side-event will explore the following questions:

  1. How and why are smaller countries in the Asia-Pacific institutionalising South-South Cooperation? Target (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu)
  2. What is required to stimulate more regional cooperation for public goods in South-South Cooperation? (Resource Countries and Regional Institutions, Thailand/ASEAN; SAARC)
  3. How are NGOs (and other non-state actors) expanding their roles in South-South and triangular cooperation in Asia-Pacific? (China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea)
  4. What are the effective and practical ways of supporting countries in the Asia-Pacific Region to institutionalise, advance, and benefit from SSC and TrC opportunities?


Concrete Outcomes

  • Explore possibilities for stronger country support towards institutionalisation of South-South Cooperation and regional public goods.
  • Deeper understanding of the role and potential contribution of NGOs and non-state actors to Asia-Pacific SSC.
  • Opportunities for collaboration among Asia-Pacific countries and experts.
  • Policy-relevant material discussed and disseminated that captures the objectives, actions, and possibilities of Asia-Pacific SSC.






Dr. Denis Nkala

Regional Coordinator and representative of the United Nations office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Asia and the Pacific Office

Denis Nkala (Ph.D.) is the Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific in the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.

He has worked in the Asia-Pacific region since 2006. He has worked extensively with countries in the region including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Thailand. In 2009, he co-wrote a publication on South-South and triangular cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, he has worked with a team from Thailand on a publication focusing on Thai outreach to other countries including the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy.

Denis Nkala studied Economics and Business Administration (B.Sc.), Applied Economics (M.Sc.) and Applied Management and Decision Sciences (Ph.D.). His previous assignments also include Iraq and Zimbabwe. Denis is a national of Zimbabwe.


Mr. François Martel

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF)

François Martel, a Samoan national, is the first substantive Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) appointed in September 2015. The PIDF is a multilateral and multi-stakeholder organization focusing on a distinctive Pacific model of green growth in blue economies aligned to sustainable development principles. The Secretariat is based in Suva, Republic of Fiji. The 3rd Summit of the PIDF adopted the Suva Declaration on climate change, a high ambition call by Pacific leaders and organizations. Mr. Martel championed the Suva Declaration at COP21 and COP22. He is a professional forester and conservationist with 35 years of experience working on issues of biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable natural resource use in island ecosystems of West Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. In Samoa, he last held senior technical advisor positions on GEF and UNDP climate resilience of forest ecosystems and critical landscape management projects. Before joining PIDF, he was Climate change and COP21 Advisor for the Government of Tokelau. Prior to this Mr. Martel spent 10 years on the Senior Leadership Team of Conservation International as the Executive Director for their Pacific Islands Program and as a Biodiversity Conservation project officer with SPREP, based in Apia.


Ms. Maria Misovicova

Partnerships Lead, Strategy and Programme Management Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Ms. Maria Misovicova leads Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation at the Strategy and Programme Management Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Maria has a rich working experience in development field within and outside the United Nations that has taken her across the world to Switzerland, Japan, Chile, and currently Thailand.

In her current job with ESCAP, Maria is responsible for developing strategic partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, including bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, other UN and non-UN agencies, and the business community. Having joined the UN in March 2003, Maria have held different posts with progressive responsibility in trade policy, trade facilitation and programme management with Geneva-based UNCTAD and UNECE, and ESCAP in Bangkok.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Maria was a diplomat working for Slovakia’s Foreign Service and looking after economic agenda. She worked as a Trade Negotiator at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, and headed trade negotiating teams during Slovakia’s accessions to OECD and European Union.
Maria authored/co-authored a significant number of publications on trade and development and trade facilitation, including together with the Asian Development Bank, and has an ample speaking experience internationally and regionally in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.
Maria has degrees in economics and international law, and took an executive leadership programme at Harvard Kennedy School.


Dr. Taejong Kim

Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management

Dr. Taejong Kim is currently a professor at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. Before joining the faculty at the KDI School, he taught at York University, Canada, and at GRIPS, Japan. His research and teaching interests include public finance, labor economics, microeconomics, and applied microeconomics. He obtained a B.A. and M.A. in economics from Seoul National University and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently he is the director of the Development Research Center at the KDI School.


Mr. Asoka Rasphone

Director of the United Nations Socio-Economic Affairs Division, International Organization Department of MoFA, Lao PDR

As Director at Department of International Organizations, MoFA Laos, Mr. Asoka acts as the central coordinator between the Laos’ Government and the United Nations Networks. Prior to this he served as the Director in charge for International Non-Governmental Organizations and Special Adviser on the UN issues to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos. He has worked at length as a diplomat in New York and with the UN Field Missions.

His current focus is to ensure Laos’ government socio-economic development plan is integrated and streamlined with the SDGs and Development Agenda 2030. He coordinates with the relevant central and local authorities in compiling, formulating and presenting policy of cooperation, investigating the requirements, rules and measures to implement and manage projects. He is also making research proposals and coordinate with the relevant sectors on cooperation and development funding from the United Nations Networks and international organizations for approval.

Mr. Asoka’s divine portfolio are included with research and presentation of perspectives, policies and strategies on economic, social, environmental, human rights, human trafficking, humanitarian assistance, socio-cultural and development in multilateral framework, including the United Nations, the Group of 77 and China, South-South Cooperation Framework and the Triangular cooperation.


Ms. Anthea Mulakala

Director of International Development Cooperation, The Asia Foundation

Anthea Mulakala is The Asia Foundation’s Director for International Development Cooperation. She leads the Foundation’s work on Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation, which focuses on how Asian countries are influencing the global development and aid landscape. From 2007 – 2014 she served as Country Representative in Malaysia, concurrently leading the Foundation’s engagement on development effectiveness and development policy. Between 1991 and 2007, Ms. Mulakala worked for several multilateral, bilateral and nongovernmental organizations in Asia, including the World Bank (in support of Indonesian decentralization), South Asia Partnership (in support of NGO capacity-building in Sri Lanka and regional gender issues), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), where she led a large health project consortium in Bangladesh and served as DFID’s Reconciliation and Development advisor in Sri Lanka. Ms. Mulakala has written and published on conflict dynamics in Asia, aid and development policy, social mobility in Asia, south-south cooperation, the role of NGOs and the private sector in Asian development cooperation, Indian development cooperation, and various issues in Malaysian political economy. She holds a B.A. Hons. in Political Science and English from the University of Western Ontario and a M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa Canada. Ms Mulakala is also co-founder of a Malaysian social enterprise which tackles the crisis of poor nutrition amongst Malaysian children.


Ms. Supriya Roychoudhury

Independent Researcher and Adviser: International Development Cooperation

Supriya Roychoudhury currently serves as Emerging Powers Coordinator at Crisis Action, where she is responsible for policy engagement in the emerging powers to prevent and stop conflict. Alongside her work at Crisis Action, she has served as Senior Associate at O.P. Jindal University in India to co-lead an international research project aimed at developing a BRICS Sustainability Index for adoption by the newly-launched ‘New Development Bank’ of the BRICS. As the former lead of Oxfam India’s foreign policy programme, she coordinated its research and advocacy strategy on South-South Cooperation. She is a published author and independent researcher on India’s development diplomacy, and is currently co-authoring a study that explores the domestic politics that underpin India’s development cooperation strategy. Prior to her work in the international development sector, Supriya worked with various think tanks and political consultancies in New Delhi and London. She is the recipient of the US State Department’s Legislative and Governance Fellowship as well as the European Union’s Visitor’s Fellowship. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Warwick, a First Class Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi, as well as degrees in Spanish and Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, also from the University of Delhi.


Ms. Hyun Jung Park

Program Manager, Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC)

Hyun Jung Park has been working as a project manager at KCOC since 2012. KCOC is an association of 132 development NGOs in Korea. Ms. Park is mainly in charge of managing the “Incubating program for CSO” in cooperation with KOICA. This program is composed of training, consulting and distributing funds for project assessment. Ms. Park has visited the field numerous times to monitor and consult on NGO projects. Before joining KCOC, she studied Global governance at the Kyung-Hee Graduate School of NGO studies. During that period, she completed a short internship at UN Global Compact due to her experience in the private sector. Aside from her M.A. from Kyung-Hee University, Ms. Park holds a B.A. in Aviation Engineering from Korea Aerospace University and B.A. in Business and Administration from Korean National Open University.


Mr. Wang Xingzui

Executive Vice President, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA)

Wang Xingzui is the Executive Vice President of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) (2001-present), one of the oldest and largest NGOs in China and one of the few working outside the country. He has over two decades of experience in rural development and poverty alleviation. Under his leadership and team efforts, the Foundation has grown from a small, largely unknown organization to one that is well recognized and respected for its pioneering work and professionalism by the governments, corporates, beneficiaries and peer NGOs both at home and abroad. Xingzui oversees the Foundation’s strategies and microfinance and is working hard to expand the Foundation’s operations to other countries and to transform the Foundation towards an international NGO. Xingzui is also dedicated to promoting transparency, unity and partnerships in the Chinese NGO sector. Prior to CFPA, Wang Xingzui worked at the State Council Poverty Reduction Office (1996-2000) and the Ministry of Agriculture (1988-1995), where he was engaged in the poverty reduction projects funded by bi- and multi-lateral organizations and on inter-governmental cooperation projects. Wang Xingzui obtained his bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University and his master’s degree in business administration from Renmin University of China. Mr. Wang is a 2013 Yale World Fellow.


Mr. Paisan Rupanichkij

Deputy Director-General, Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

Mr. Paisan Rupanichkij is a Deputy Director-General of Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Joining diplomatic service in 1989, Mr. Rupanichkij has previously served as a Director of ASEAN ll Division, Department of ASEAN Affairs in 2011 and a Director of International Economic Policy Division, Department of International Economic Affairs in 2015.
Mr. Rupanichkij was posted as a first secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara, Turkey in 1999 to 2002 and a Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations, New York, in 2012 to 2015.

In June 2016, Mr. Rupanichkij was endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group at the United Nations in New York to serve as an expert to Perez Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF).

Mr. Rupanichkij holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University (ANU) (1998).


Mr. Zhou Taidong

Head, Global Development Division, Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD)

Mr. Zhou Taidong currently serves as Director of Global Development Division for China Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD), responsible for studying global development governance as well as global and regional development agendas such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Belt and Road Initiative. Previously, Mr. Zhou has worked at the Development Research Center of the State Council from August 2015 to August 2017, the Asia Foundation’s China office from July 2011 to July 2015, and China’s Ministry of Commerce from July 2002-June 2010. Mr. Zhou has written extensively in both Chinese and English focusing largely on China and international development cooperation.


Mr. Ryutaro Murotani

Director / Deputy Head, Office for Global Issues and Development Partnership, Operations Strategy Department, JICA

Since February 2017, Ryutaro Murotani has been Director / Deputy Head of Office for Global Issues and Development Partnership, Operations Strategy Department of JICA. Prior to this assignment, he served as Senior Representative / Deputy Head of JICA Rwanda Office for three years. His previous assignments include Research Fellow at JICA Research Institute, First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Middle East Officer at the Loan Aid Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. He holds the Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard Kennedy School.




Focal Point Contact Details

Overall Coordinators: Denis Nkala, Regional Coordinator and Representative of UNOSSC Asia-Pacific Regional Office; Anthea Mulakala, Director, International Development Cooperation, Asia Foundation

Communications Focal Point: Fongfon Sridusadee (Ms.), Programme Manager,, +66 23049100 Ext 5403, +66 824455192