Two years ago, the world unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an agenda calling for a new and inclusive global partnership of which South-South and Triangular cooperation (SSC and TrC) forms an integral part. Placing importance on the need to enhance knowledge sharing through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, Goal 17 “Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”, in particular, underscores the critical role of SSC and TrC in helping countries to advance their development priorities. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda also recognizes the importance of strengthening SSC and TrC as fundamental means for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Over the past 15 years, cooperation among countries of the South has continued to expand across sectors, SSC and TrC growing in prominence and quality of partnerships as a result of increased resources, geographical reach and diversity of approaches. In 2013, the UNDP Human Development Report revealed that from 1980 to 2011 the share of world merchandise trade between South-South more than tripled, while North-North decreased during the same period.

Despite progress, the potential of SSC and TrC to contribute towards sustainable development and poverty eradication has not been fully leveraged. Knowledge gaps and uneven access to solutions and resources are major obstacles hindering progress and the full realization of the SSC potential and its impact on sustainable development. The availability of information and quality of research on the scale and impact of SSC and TrC have not kept pace with the growing demand among Southern partners for peer learning to further improve results.

In addition, policy incoherence, together with a lack of understanding of the respective legal and policy environments for cooperation, can create ‘thick borders’ between countries and hinder the expansion of SSC and TrC. Lacking understanding of the linkage between South-South trade, investment in basic infrastructure or productive capacity cooperation, and development outcomes also constrains the range and value of development benefits that can be realized through those SSC modalities. Addressing these knowledge gaps will be critical in the context of scaling-up SSC for sustainable development.

There is a clear need for academics and researchers to tackle this challenge head-on and a clear demand for think tanks, especially from the Global South, to lead the way. As public policy research, analysis and engagement organizations, think tanks and research institutes can play a vital role in the political and policy arenas at the local, national level, and global levels and assist governments in understanding and in making informed choices about issues of domestic and international concerns. Thus, they can strategically champion the thought leadership on SSC and TrC.

However, scale and complexity of SSC require multidisciplinary knowledge and analysis, which can be very difficult to fully master by any individual think tank or a single network of think tanks. It takes a platform to pool knowledge and expertise of multiple think tank networks to work together to tackle the knowledge gaps in SSC. Through such a platform of exchanges among think tank networks on SSC, the diversified perspectives of SSC also can become a strength that can be fully appreciated and leveraged to enrich our understanding and inform better decision-making in SSC. Thus, global support is needed for those networks to better connect with each other to collectively address multi-disciplinary challenges together, and to find channels to inform and influence global development agenda with frontier thinking and knowledge.

To address the knowledge gaps mentioned above, UNDP and United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) have recently launched the Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for SSC (South-South Global Thinkers initiative), in partnership with various Southern-led think tank networks and private sector entities. The aim of the coalition is to:

  • build partnership with major think tank networks to deepen the understanding of SSC and TrC, including its concepts, methodologies, policy issues and solutions for sustainable development;
  • facilitate a global support platform that connects and enables various networks of Think Tanks and centres of excellence, to exchange knowledge, pool multidisciplinary expertise, and collaboratively conduct research and policy dialogues on scaling up SSC and TrC for sustainable development; and
  • support capacity development of think tank networks to provide data-informed analysis and advisory services to inform policy making and practice in SSC and TrC to accelerate progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SSC and TrC.

The Global Coalition of SSC Think Tanks Networks can provide an enabling environment to fill the knowledge gap that can strengthen the scaling-up of SSC and TrC and its impact and provide a bridge to link with SDGs and their implementation. As such, it will contribute to the following:

  • Strengthening of the global knowledge base: This will be about systematization, collection, analysis and dissemination of better data and knowledge about patterns, trends, flows, composition and impact of SSC and TrC (the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘how well’), within a framework that will necessarily be demand-driven and led by Member States. This will help policy-makers, practitioners and experts in the South and North to access the information they need to deploy these modalities of cooperation at country, regional and global levels.
  • Development research: Following suggestions from Member States, there will be a focus on the development, testing and steady application of monitoring and evaluation approaches that are specifically tailored to the principles and conduct of SSC and TrC, a major gap at the moment. Additionally, through the frequent consultation with think tanks from the north and South other priority research areas were identified that are of importance to Southern countries which include SSC concepts, trends and impact assessment, policy coordination and legal environment of SSC, and the impact of South-South trade, investment, financing, technology, infrastructure on human development.
  • Deepening of global dialogue: The facilitation of and/or technical support to fora where developing countries and other partners can come together to discuss, debate and build consensus on priorities, principles, opportunities, performance and peer-to-peer learning. This can only be done effectively on a demand-driven basis, at the request of Member States themselves, providing inputs that can help them in their efforts to see how SSC and TrC can best contribute to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. A key feature will be to bring Southern and Northern expert and practitioner knowledge and experiences to the table for experience exchange and mutual learning.
  • Support to inter-governmental fora: This will enable improved monitoring of and guidance to SSC and TrC within the UN system but also bringing in and influencing other partners as well. The aim is to connect these fora with global knowledge and expert networks so that they can inform discussions and consensus-building.

To date, UNDP jointly with the UNOSSC have formalized six partnerships with Southern think tanks networks from various regions which include: Global Research Consortium on Economic Structural Transformation (GReCEST); Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS); Latin America Initiative on Politics and Public Affairs Studies (ILAIPP), Southern Voice, Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST) and Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR) network. The Global Coalition has also entered into a five-year partnership with a multinational law corporation from China, Yingke Law Firm, and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, both of which are supporting this initiative.


Objective and expected outcomes

The objective of the 1st Steering Committee meeting is to agree on the roles and responsibilities of the steering committee members and founders and formulate mid-term and long-term strategies for the Global Coalition. The expected outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

  • Approve Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Global Coalition Steering Committee and ToR for the Global Coalition Executive Secretariat
  • Provide recommendations for the 2018 Annual Work Plan: identify and agree on the priority research topics to be conducted by the think tank networks; and identify and agree on high-level policy events and advocacy campaigns at the global levels
  • Provide Guidance and recommendations on the financial and operational sustainability of the Global Coalition


Target Audiences

The Steering committee meeting will be open to 25-30 participants from think tank network members, representatives from UNDP, UNOSSC, funding partners and other invited observing members.



Opening Remarks by the Global Coalition Executives

  • Mr. Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and UNOSSC Director (3 min)
  • Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP (3 min)

Introduction of think tank network members and research expertise; funding partners

  • Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director for Programme and Operations, UNOSSC (moderator)
  • Introduction by each Think Tank Network and funding partners (5 min each)

Review and approve ToRs for the Steering Committee and the Executive Secretariat for the Global Coalition. Discuss financial and operational sustainability of the Global Coalition.

  • Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP (30 min)

Discuss and identify priority research topics to be conducted by think tank networks. Identify high-level policy events that aim to influence policy dialogues on SSC.

  • Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director for Programme and Operations, UNOSSC (moderator) (40 min)

Launch of the South-South Global Thinkers Platform and closing remarks

  • Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director of Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director for Programme and Operations, UNOSSC (moderator) (5 min)



Biographies of Participants


Dr. Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid

Global Research Consortium on Economic Structural Transformation (GReCEST)

Dr. Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid is the Director General at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1985 by the Faculty of Politics and Economics from Cambridge University for his thesis on food policy. He has continued to work on food policy while at the same time branching out into a number of other research areas, including infrastructure and irrigation, informal and rural credit markets, agricultural markets and value chain finance, human resource development and policy research. He has published extensively in top development journals including the Bangladesh Development Studies, the European Journal of Human Development, World Development, Journal of Agrarian Change, Economic and Political Weekly and the Journal of Development Studies. He also has to his credit numerous other publications in the form of research reports, monographs and contributions to various edited volumes. Dr. Murshid combines extensive research experience with familiarity with a wide range of development settings in addition, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, and sub-Saharan Africa.


Mr. Zhou Taidong

Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS)

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 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. Hu Dengsheng

Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS)

Mr. Hu Dengsheng currently serves as a Project management official for China Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD), responsible for general office affairs and CPC affairs management. He has some experience in project management and public Policy Research.

Mr. Hu was graduated from Minzu University of China and got his master’s degree in public policy and has published several academic papers on public policy and education.


Mr. Michel Rowland

Latin America Initiative on Politics and Public Affairs Studies (ILAIPP)

Mr. Michel Rowland is a political scientist with 22 years of professional career as director, manager and consultant in Latin America. He has work experience in anti-corruption strategies, state modernization, conflict resolution, environment conservation, civil society empowerment and political reform. His area of research also focuses on empowerment of women, youth and indigenous people. Mr. Rowland has extensive experience in working with development cooperation agencies and third sector organizations.
Mr. Rowland has served as a trainer and professor in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Perú and Panamá in which he taught courses related to democracy, decentralization, public policies, ethics, anti-corruption strategies and conflict resolution.

He is a former member of the Ecuadorian Constitutional Assembly (1997-1998); “Red Interamericana de Democracia” Executive Secretary (2003); Ecuadorian Foreign Service Member (2009-2011); “Iniciativa Latinoamericana de Investigación para las Políticas Públicas” Executive Secretary (2016- present).


Mr. Pablo G. Hurtado

Southern Voice On Post-MDG International Development Goals

Mr. Pablo G. Hurtado is the Executive Secretary of ASIES (Association of Research and Social Studies – Guatemala) and Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribean of Southern Voice network. He has a Law degree and Human Rights Masters from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. He is Doctorate candidate from Basque Country University in Spain. Mr. Hurtado has served previously as a National and international consultant and has authored diverse publications on Human Rights, Justice and Constitutional Law. He is also a professor at the University and Judicial Studies School.


Ms. Tarannum Jinan

Southern Voice On Post-MDG International Development Goals

Ms. Tarannum Jinan is based at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which functions as the Secretariat of Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals (Southern Voice). As an administrative professional in international development, Ms Jinan is responsible for ensuring smooth implementation of the network’s concurrent activities by providing network assistance suitably in the following areas: administrative and other programmatic documentation and reporting; internal operations management; event calendar, and organization of events at various international capitals. For instance, her current preoccupation involves, inter alia, assisting in the management of core research calls of the network, related to data and various other challenges of implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Southern countries at the national and local levels.

Ms. Jinan has a Master’s Degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies from Jahangirnagar University, and a Bachelor’s degree from the same institution.


Dr. Milindo Chakrabarti

Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST)

Prof. Milindo Chakrabarti has been engaged in teaching and research for more than 30 years. Currently, he is a Visiting Fellow at Research and Information System for Developing Countries in New Delhi. He is also a Professor with School of Business Studies and School of Law at Sharda University, Greater Noida and is associated with the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and School of Government and Public Policy, O.P. Jindal Global University as Adjunct Faculty. He conducted a Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA as a visiting scholar.

Dr. Milindo has extensive experience in policy development and practice, and knowledge and experience working in different sectors such as: natural resources, social sectors, rural development, agri-business, environment management, governance, institutional development, programme evaluation and South-South Cooperation. He has been consultant to different ministries of Govt. of India, the Planning Commission, the World Bank, UNDP, IFAD, the Copenhagen Consensus, National Council for Applied Economic Research, the British Council, DFID, USAID, DIE and the Government of Luxembourg. In his list of professional affiliations, he had been a Member of Western Economic Association International, USA, Executive Director in Development Evaluation Society of India (DESI) and Member, Network of Network on Impact Evaluation (NONIE).


Dr. Xu Xiuli

Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST)

Dr. Xu Xiuli is a professor of Development Studies at China Agricultural University. She is a key member of China International Development Research Network (CIDRN) and Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST). Her main research interests include development issues in China’s overseas investment and aid particularly in African and Asian countries, China’s rural development policy analysis and natural resource management. She is the first author of a series of articles discussing nature and daily operation of China’s aid and overseas investment published in top journals such as World Development and Development and Change. She has broad international collaboration experiences with development partners such as the WB, UNDP, IDRC, DFID and Oxfam. She is the initiator of the public Wechat platform: IDT (International Development Times), which disseminates the frontier knowledge about development studies in China.


Mr. Pranay Sinha

Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST)

Mr. Pranay Sinha is a Visiting Fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India and leads Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST) work at its Global Secretariat. Till late 2015 he was heading AidData’s Non-DAC portfolio as its Non-DAC Manager/Research Fellow in the USA and has contributed to NeST discussions around definitions, criteria, indicator, and methodologies, to assess the quantity, quality and impact of South-South Cooperation. He served as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK for a DFID-funded research focused on South−South Cooperation and International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standards in 2011. He has participated as an academic observer at the IATI Steering Committee meeting in Paris in 2011 in which the IATI standard was signed and agreed upon by various development partners. His development cooperation experience includes working at the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India between 2006 and 2008 on a UNDP supported Aid Coordination Project. Pranay has a Master’s degree in Aid Management from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. after he won the British Chevening Scholarship in 2008-09.


Dr. Ra’ed M. BenShams

Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR) Network

Dr. Ra’ed M. BenShams is the founding Director General of the Institute of Public Administration in Bahrain (BIPA). Dr. BenShams is the president of the Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR) Network since its establishment in 2014. He is also the Vice President for the MENA Region in the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS). Dr. BenShams is a member of the Recruitment of High Officials in the Public-Sector Committee and Chief of its Task Force. He is also Vice President for MENA region in the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS). Additionally, he led several task forces managing the parliamentary and municipality elections held in Bahrain since 2002. He was General Manager of a system integration company, Assistant General Secretary for HR, Finance and Admin Affairs at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Director of Statistics at the Central Informatics Organization (CIO). He is a member of the board in several national and international associations and published chapters in two edited books with numerous conference papers. He also occupied key positions in the private and public sector prior to joining BIPA.

He holds a PhD in strategic management from Bradford University, an MSc in MIS from Leeds University and BSc from King Saud University. He was decorated with the Medal of Highest Level of Competence by HM the King for his achievements.


Ms. Shagufta Ahmad

Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR) Network

Ms. Shagufta Ahmad is Program Manager of the Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Network (MENAPAR). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University, California and an MBA in Islamic Finance from Open University Malaysia. She is currently preparing for her PhD in comparative public administration. Shagufta has over 15 years of diversified USA and Bahrain experience in both non-profit and for-profit sectors (education and software industries, community service organizations) with over 5 years of quality assurance experience in higher education. She holds a strong interest in Research and Development using IT platforms for innovative solutions in public administration. Shagufta is also a strong proponent of the SDGs with special interest in strengthening a research eco-system in the MENA region for inclusive public policy development.


Mr. Mei Xiongrong

Yingke Law Firm

Mr. Mei Xiongrong is the founding partner and chairman of global board of directors of Yingke Law Firm. Mr. Mei graduated from the Department of Automotive Engineering at Tsinghua University and Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. He is now deputy director of the Specialized Committee of Real Estate of Beijing Lawyers Association, legal adviser of State Intellectual Property Office, Invited experts at China Policy Research Association, vice president of China Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, Director of China Youth Entrepreneurs Association, Director and Deputy Secretary- General pf ShuiMu Tsinghua Council of Tsinghua University, Angel Investor of ShuiMu Tsinghua Incubator of Tsinghua University, partner at ShuiMu Tsinghua Alumnt Capital, director of Tsinghua Entrepreneurs Association, vice president of PE Alliance of Peking University, joint tutor of Master of Law of Tsinghua University Law School, part-time professor at Lawyer School of Renmin University of China, tutor of Postgraduate Legal Aid Centre at China University of Political Science and Law.


Ms. Linda Yang

Yingke Law Firm

Ms. Linda Yang is the Executive Chairperson of Yingke Global Board of Directors. She is responsible for overseas expansion, international cooperation and international legal affairs of Yingke law firm. With extensive experience in cross-border transactions and international arbitration, Linda has been involved in numerous cross-border transactions and serving for top reputable Chinese and international companies and organizations on their legal issues, which includes Rockefeller, Adama, Mallanox, HSBC, CRRC, Zoomlion and CMEC. Due to her outstanding achievement in practicing international business and commercial law, Ms. Yang was awarded the “Chinese Top International Business Lawyer” among the “Annual Ten Best Lawyers” by Fang Yuan Lv Zheng (a Chinese legal magazine) in 2011.

Ms. Yang received her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and International Trade from Ocean University of China, and her Master’s in International Law from China University of Political Science and Law. She serves as the Executive Director of the China International Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Ninth Council of Beijing Overseas Sodality, and is the Former Joint Tutor for LLM of Tsinghua University Law School.


Dr. John Zhong Wu

Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC)

Dr. John Zhong Wu serves as Vice President and Director-General of the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, Hong Kong.

Prior to this position he served as Mayor of Qianjiang City, Chongqing Municipality, China (November 2010 to May 2015); Director of International Poverty Reduction Center, China (July 2008 to December 2010); Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Social Mobilization, State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (CPAD), P.R. China (May 2002 to July 2008); Division Chief of the Planning Department, CPAD (May 2000 to May 2002); Division Chief of Financial Procurement Office, Foreign Project Management Center, CPAD (April 1996 to May 2000); and Deputy Director of the Institute of Population Research, Peking University (March 1993 to April 1996).

Dr. Wu holds a Doctor of Law, Master and Bachelor of Economics from Peking University, China and a Master of Science from the University of London, UK.


Ms. Xiaowen Zhang

Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC)

Ms. Xiaowen Zhang serves as Deputy General Director of the Finance Centre for South-South Cooperation. With her research focused on the Chinese State -owned multinational corporates, Ms. Zhang had been working as a journalist for 17 years in the conflict and underdeveloped areas in over 90 countries before she joined FCSSC. As a PhD. Candidate at Waseda University in Japan, she is also working on a weekly TV documentary project, which includes an annual report on the sustainable development behaviours of China’s overseas corporates, with Phoenix Satellite Television, UNDP China, China’s Ministry of Commerce and State owned Assets Supervision and Administration promoting the South-South cooperation.


Ms. Simona Marinescu


Ms. Simona Marinescu is currently the Director of the Development Impact Group in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) in UNDP HQ. Before Joining BPPS, Ms. Marinescu was the Director, UNDP Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD). Prior to this assignment, Ms. Marinescu served as the UNDP Iraq Senior Economist and Programme Director for the multi-agency Private Sector Development Programme assisting the Government of Iraq and its social partners on structural reforms for inclusive market building in a complex post conflict environment. Projects included the corporatization of State Owned Enterprises, SME development, investment promotion and the launch of the UN Global Compact in Iraq. She also served as USAID Economic Governance Sector Lead for Social Safety Net and Pension Reforms in Iraq, and as World Bank Social Protection Expert in the Human Development Unit for MENA Region. Ms. Marinescu also served as Minister Secretary of State for Labour and Social Protection in Romania during a time of major socio-economic transformations that preceded the country’s integration in the European Union. She was formerly elected Senator and served as President of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee in the Senate of Romania.

Ms. Marinescu holds an MBA in International Relations and a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies ASE Bucharest, a Diploma in Leadership from Harvard University and a Certificate in Modern Labour Market Administration from Cyprus International Institute of Management. She was the editor in chief of two national newspapers specialized in labour market and social affairs.


Ms. Chunying Stella Qian


Ms. Chunying Stella Qian is Chief Advisor for Global Partnerships and South-South Cooperation, Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Ms. Qian joined UNDP from her position as Deputy Director General, Department of Foreign Assistance, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China which she held since 2015, managing regional aid and partnerships with many recipient governments. She also led development cooperation with other developing countries in areas such as poverty eradication, agriculture, health, education and environment and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and organized a series of seminars for developing countries on capacity building programmes.

From 2006 to 2015, Ms. Qian held the position of Director, Division of Human Resources Development, Division of Latin America & Oceania, Division of Eastern Africa, role in which she coordinated the assistance measures announced by Chinese Leaders at various occasions, including 2006 Beijing Summit of FOCAC, 2011 the 3rd China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and 2015 Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC.


Ms. Shams Banihani


Ms. Shams Banihani is a Policy Analyst on South-South and Triangular Cooperation with the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York City. In her current capacity, she provides policy and programme support on South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and compiles and promotes knowledge consolidation and transfer of scalable development solutions. In her current capacity, she provided substantive support to the establishment of the “South-South Global Thinker: the Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for SSC “initiative. Prior to her current role, she worked with the Poverty Practice at UNDP in which she supported the global programme “Scaling Up Local Innovations for Transformational Change” which supports countries in scaling up ‘smart’ interventions and innovations that not only strengthen national ownership and national-local linkages but also deliver ‘multiplier’ effects across different thematic areas.

Shams started her career as a banker, foreign exchange and bonds trader and later as an institutional financial specialist at the office of the CEO of the largest bank in the Middle East region. Shams holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield.


Mr. Jorge Chediek


Since October 2015, Mr. Jorge Chediek has been the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, leading United Nations system-wide promotion and coordination of South-South cooperation for development. In March 2016, Mr. Chediek was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Envoy on South-South Cooperation.

Prior to this, Mr. Chediek served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Brazil (2010-2015). In that capacity, he was also the Director of the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, UNDP’s global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on social development innovations. He served as Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Peru (2005-2010); United Nations Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Nicaragua (2001-2005); Deputy Resident Representative in Cuba (1999-2001); Deputy Resident Representative in Uruguay (1996-1999); Programme Management Officer, Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in New York (1994-1996); and Programme Officer and then Assistant Resident Representative in Turkey (1990-1994).

Preceding his United Nations career, Mr. Chediek worked at the Department of Legislative Analysis of the Argentinean Congress and as an independent consultant assisting in the design of financial investment systems in Argentina.

Born in 1960, he holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service (honors) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Science (“Licenciado”) in Political Science from Catholic University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang


Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang is the Deputy Director for Programmes and Operations at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). Dr. Wang brings to the position extensive senior leadership experience in brokering knowledge exchange, facilitating partnerships, and strengthening the capacities of countries to engage in South-South and triangular cooperation. She dedicates strong efforts to ensure that the larger potential of South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development are reflected in both programmes and policymaking dialogues.

Ms. Wang has most recently served as the Lead Advisor on South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the United Nations Development Programme’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. In that capacity, she initiated and spearheaded the establishment of the Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation – the South-South Global Thinkers Initiative, jointly supported by UNOSSC and UNDP.

Prior to that Ms. Wang worked as UNDP’s Poverty Practice Manager for five years, overseeing integrated workplans, knowledge management, communications, global programmes and trust funds, as well as office administration and operations. Between 2002 and 2009, Ms. Wang served in the UNDP Country Office in China where she was Team Leader for Democratic Governance and HIV and AIDS, and managed poverty reduction programmes. Before joining UNDP in 2002, Ms. Wang worked with governments, international non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and media outlets. She is a Chinese national and holds a PhD in Education and International Development from the University of London.


Mr. Michael Stewart


Mr. Michael Stewart serves as a Knowledge Management Analyst at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, a position he has held since August 2017. Prior to this, Mr. Stewart worked as a Project Officer within UNOSSC (August 2015 to July 2017).

Before joining UNOSSC, he was embedded within the Ministry of Population and Health in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he provided technical assistance to the development of the Third Nepal Health Sector Programme. Mr. Stewart has also previously worked in research and project management capacities for the Department of Health of New South Wales, Australia, and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Mr. Stewart holds a Bachelor of International Studies and a Master of Public Health (International) both from the University of Sydney, Australia.


Mr. Paul Ladd

Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

Mr. Paul Ladd has been Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) since October 2015. Before taking up this position he had been at UNDP, where he had most recently been Director of the team supporting consultations and technical inputs for the 2030 Development Agenda.

Previously he led UNDP’s policy team on ‘inclusive globalization’ – including trade, development finance, and migration. From 2008-2009, he provided support to the Office of the UN Secretary-General on the financial and economic crisis, and engagement with the G20.

Before moving to New York, Paul was a policy adviser on international development for the UK Treasury, including the period building up to and through the UK’s Chair of the G8 and European Union in 2005.

Previously he had been Chief Economist and acting Head of Policy with UK charity Christian Aid, the UK Department for International Development’s economic adviser for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, and a financial adviser in the Central Bank of Guyana.

Paul received his BSc in Economics and his MSc in Quantitative Development Economics from the University of Warwick. In 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law (LLD), also by the University of Warwick.