Ideal Format and Nature of the Session:

The idea of South-South cooperation is rooted in the shared conditions and experiences of Southern nations, namely poverty, underdevelopment, dependency and colonialism, and NGOs and CSOs have been in the forefront of the movement to advocate this.

SSC has grown significantly in recent years. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the South-South trade of India, China and Brazil will continue to outstrip their trade with the rest of the world all the way through to 2050. SSC development cooperation has also increased considerably this decade notably in infrastructure development as manifested by the founding of BRICS-led countries of the New Development Bank and of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Bank.

The increasing integration of SSC with traditional forms of cooperation including a catalytic or supplementary role for developed countries in the process, may indicate that the current form of SSC has moved forward from the original intents of reforming the then international economic order to fostering collective self-reliance among developing countries worldwide. However, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action’s clearly worded definition of TCDC (now SSC) notwithstanding, standards or understanding of what constitutes SSC still remain somewhat hazy, exacerbated as they are by relatively uneven national mechanisms for its coordination and management.

Yet, SSC is now recognized as an important complementary source not only of financing of global and regional development, but especially of sharing of knowledge and experience on critical development issues being faced in developing countries today.

With the adoption of recent internationally agreed development goals and major agendas for development, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Nairobi Outcome Document on SSC the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the international community is now accountable to a global development agenda that underscores the importance of South-South cooperation in addressing transnational development challenges. NGOs and CSOs, dedicated to developmental, humanitarian and related tasks are equally cognizant of the value of SSC modalities in the implementation of these tasks and are becoming ardent advocates for them.

A question being asked is how widespread really is horizontality in South-South partnerships? While emerging Southern powers are undoubtedly motivated by principles of solidarity in pursuing cooperation with other developing countries, their own strategic interests and foreign policy objectives may sometimes need to be taken into account in driving them forward in this direction. It becomes imperative then that the policies and practices of emerging Southern providers must remain guided as much as possible by objective consideration of horizontal development cooperation.

The side event will be an occasion for NGOs and CSOs concerned with developmental, humanitarian and related missions to share experiences and cultivate relationships. Emerging from the event would be an Alliance of NGOs and CSOs for South-South Cooperation in developmental, environmental and humanitarian spheres. The Alliance will be intended to help to sharpen the understanding of NGOs and CSOs of the value of SSC modalities in their respective spheres of work. The Alliance would also be mobilized on occasions such as the GSSD Expo and international conferences in support and promotion of South-South cooperation. In this vein the Alliance will be an effective partner among the forces that would be marching on the road to BAPA+40.


Objectives and Thematic Focus:


  • Develop a shared understanding on the concepts, development context and issues on SSC as viewed from the perspective of NGOs and CSOs, and the common principles that should guide SSC in their respective domains;
  • Take stock of SSC practices in NGOs and CSOs since the adoption of BAPA;

Key Questions:

  • How can SSC be more horizontal (solidarity-based) rather than client-borrower or donor-recipient based in the work of NGOs and CSOs?
  • What are the good practices in SSC and how can these experiences be best leveraged by NGOs and CSOs to promote horizontal development cooperation? What are the gaps and challenges?


Concrete Outcomes:

  • Stakeholders leave with a deeper understanding of the centrality of horizontality in South-South partnership
  • Documentation of positive experiences and challenges in promoting horizontal cooperation
  • Establishment of the “Alliance of NGOs and CSOs for South-South cooperation”


Potential Partners, Presenters and Speakers:

  • Envoy of the SG for SSC
  • Representative from host country
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Cooperative Alliance
  • International Chamber of Commerce
  • Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
  • Islamic Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation
  • Global One
  • Reality of Aid Network
  • Partnership Development Effectiveness in Latin America and Caribbean
  • Indonesian Society for Social transformation
  • Bangun Indonesia Foundation (Salord Sagala, CSR Manager)
  • International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (Risa Zoll, Development Manager)
  • Institute for Global Dialogue (Dr. Philani Mthembu, Executive Director)
  • Prof. Mehmet Arda, Member of The Executive Board of the Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies


Focal Point Contact Details:

Overall Coordinator: Shahid Husain, Special Adviser, UNOSSC

Communications Focal Point: Mehdi Mirafzal, Senior Adviser, UNOSSC


Phone: Shahid Husain +1-917-225-1010, Mehdi Mirafzal +1-212-906-5325