Objectives and Thematic Focus

South-South cooperation is one of the important drivers of the regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific and has resulted in increased volumes of South-South trade, foreign direct investment flows and technology transfer. Developing countries have accumulated considerable expertise, experience and lessons in their own development processes, which have been shared with other developing countries in the form of technical assistance and significantly influenced the landscape of the South-South cooperation in this region and beyond.

Asia-Pacific’s mix of international development cooperation players is a major asset, especially in delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other global agendas. The region ranges from economic power houses such as China and India; other developing countries, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam; to Small Island Developing States such as Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea; and triangular cooperation partners like Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In response to the need for greater collaboration and coordination of South-South and triangular cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation Asia-Pacific (UNOSSC) and the Government of Thailand (Thailand International Cooperation Agency) launched the Asia-Pacific Director- Generals’ Forum on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (Asia-Pacific DG Forum). Its first meeting took place at the Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, in June 2018 in Bangkok.

At the inaugural session, the Asia-Pacific DG Forum discussed a number of issues relevant to the theme and sub-themes of the upcoming Second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), including (a) South-South and triangular cooperation challenges and opportunities in the region; (b) institutional framework, including the roles and functions of the DG Forum, member States, the UN agencies and non-state actors, and (c) best practices and success stories in South-South and triangular cooperation.

Building on these initial discussions, it was suggested that an Asia-Pacific DG Forum would hold a follow-up meeting during the 2018 Global South-South Development Expo to review the issues proposed for the BAPA+40 conference and any draft outcome documents that would be made available for review at this non-formal ESCAP Member States consultation session.

The upcoming session of the Asia-Pacific DG Forum will take place on 27 November 2018 in New York, as a part of the Global South-South Development Expo 2018 and will be co-organized by ESCAP and the Government of Indonesia with the support from UNOSSC.

The objectives of the meeting will be to:

  • Discuss the region’s priorities in the lead-up towards BAPA+40 conference.
  • Review the issues paper (if available) prepared by the BAPA+40 Secretariat within the context of the Asia-Pacific region’s perspectives and inputs to the BAPA+40 outcome document.
  • Discuss next steps for the Asia-Pacific DG Forum.



  1. Opening
  2. Briefing on the Outcomes of the Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and the inaugural Asia-Pacific DG Forum
  3. Asia and the Pacific South-South and triangular cooperation priorities in the lead-up to BAPA+40 – review of the issues paper and draft outcome document, focusing on the following topics:
    • Comparative advantages and opportunities of South-South cooperation
    • Challenges and strengthening of the institutional framework of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation
    • Sharing of experiences, best practices and success stories
    • Scaling up the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in support of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation
  4. Next steps for the Asia-Pacific DG Forum
  5. Closing


Expected Outcomes

  • Well-defined, coordinated and substantive contribution from a regional perspective in support of the Global DG Forum and the BAPA+40 Conference.
  • Increased awareness and enhanced capacity on the effective utilization of South-South and triangular cooperation modalities to achieve the global goals, especially the Agenda 2030 and SDGs in the Asia-Pacific.
  • Partnership building among participants to foster new South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives.


Focal Point Contact Details

Name: Maria Misovicova
Title: Capacity Development and Partnerships, Strategy and Programme Management Division, ESCAP, Bangkok
Email: misovicova@un.org and escap-ssc@un.org
Phone: +66-2-2882257