30 November 2018
12 PM – 1:15 PM
Conference Room 11, UN HQ



The past two decades have seen South-South and triangular cooperation grow rapidly in scale, intensity and modalities at all levels in a global order characterized by multipolarity. The growth of South-South cooperation is happening in a context of rising violent conflict and human-made humanitarian crises. These challenges are mainly affecting countries of the Global South, yet Southern proposals relating to the nexus between peace and development have not been a traditional area of focus of South-South cooperation initiatives. For example, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action does not mention the word “peace” even once. Existing South-South initiatives to prevent conflict and promote durable peace and inclusive long-term development are not systematic or documented. Similarly, the availability of information and the quality of research on the scale and impact of South-South cooperation have not kept pace with the growing demand among Southern partners for peer learning to further improve peace and development results.

In practice, however, there are a growing number of collaborations, dialogues and initiatives oriented towards increasing Southern solidarity and mutual learning to promote durable peace and inclusive development. In this changing context and in preparation for the second United Nations High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), there appears to be an increasing awareness of the importance of creating spaces that promote Southern narratives, solutions and alternatives for positive and Southern-led peacemaking. There is more demand from Member States and regional organizations to increase the attention paid to the added value of South-South cooperation as a reinforcing force in the promotion of peace and inclusive development.

In this context, UNOSSC established a dedicated team to support South-South programming on South-South cooperation for peace and development[1]. The Office is identifying emerging South-South cooperation opportunities focused on peace and development as a first step in giving visibility to this emerging area in the field of South-South cooperation. This will contribute to supporting evidence-based negotiations and decision-making in preparation for BAPA+40.

For this side event organized in the context of the Global South-South Development Expo 2018, UNOSSC will open a space for sharing evidence on the relevance and emerging characteristics of South-South cooperation for peace and development.

During the event, speakers will present the findings of three independent research projects that are currently under way:

  • The Case of South-South Cooperation for Peace and Development: a research paper developed by the Global South Unit for Mediation of the BRICS Policy Centre (Brazil) and the Global South Thinkers on Peace and Development[2];
  • Initial Mapping of South-South Cooperation Experiences: Meta-analysis from the South-South in Action Series and Other Publications of UNOSSC and Partners (2016-2018): draft paper with case studies from Argentina, Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Croatia, South Sudan, the g7 and its modality of Fragile-to-Fragile cooperation (F2F), the Union of the Mediterranean, the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and others; and
  • The Independent Report on South-South Cooperation: Timothy Shaw, Member of the Advisory Board of the Independent Report on South-South Cooperation, Faculty Fellow, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston.

After the presentation of evidence, examples and perspectives by the speakers, there will be an opportunity for debate and reflection, looking towards BAPA+40. Special guests will provide inputs.

The event will support analysis and deliberation for representatives of Member States, United Nations agencies, think tanks, academia, donors, CSOs and other relevant actors committed to promoting Southern solidarity and cooperation to achieve a world of peace and inclusive development for all.




Opening Remarks


Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang

Deputy Director for Programmes and Operations at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

 Xiaojun Grace Wang is the Deputy Director for Programmes and Operations at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). Prior to this she served as the Lead Advisor on South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the United Nations Development Programme’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

She has extensive experience as UNDP’s former Poverty Practice Manager, where she oversaw 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.




Dr. Hany Besada

Senior Research Coordinator at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

Dr. Hany Besada is the Senior Research Coordinator at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). He is also a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow with the United Nations and Research Professor, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University and Senior Fellow with the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa.

Until very recently, he was Program and Deputy Executive Director at the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). Prior to that he was Regional Advisor, African Mineral Development Centre (AMDC) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Theme Leader: Governance of Natural Resources at the North-South Institute (NSI) in Ottawa, Canada and Research Specialist on the United Nations High Level Panel Secretariat-Post 2015 Development Agenda, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York.

Dr. Besada worked as Program Leader and Senior Researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo. Before moving to Canada, he was the Principle Researcher: Business in Africa at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Besada has worked as Policy Advisor for the South African Ministry of Local and Provisional Government, Amnesty International, United Nations Associations, the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice (IPJ) and the Office of US Senator Dianne Feinstein. He has consulted for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, United Nations Office for Sustainable Development, United States International Development Agency, African Capacity Building Foundation, and the Government of Sierra Leone. Dr. Besada holds a PhD from the University of Warwick.




Ms. Cecilia Milesi

Senior Adviser on South-South Cooperation on Peace and Development at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

Cecilia is an Argentine sociologist with over 20 years of experience from working in the fields of conflict prevention and transformation, inclusive development, human rights and mobilisation for change.

Before her current position at the United Nations, she held leadership and advisory roles at renowned organisations around the world: she was Director of Planning and Performance at Conciliation Resources, Movement Building Coordinator at Amnesty International and expert advisor, senior analyst and researcher for CDA Collaborative Learning, BRICS Policy Center, Global South Unit for Mediation, Interamerican Development Bank, Kering Foundation, Open Democracy, Reality of Aid, SES Foundation, among others. Cecilia is the founder of a social organization promoting peace education and youth leadership in Argentina – Subir al Sur-. She has received several awards as outstanding social entrepreneur and works closely with social leaders and movements from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

She is a Sociologist (University of Buenos Aires) with Master studies in Violence, Conflict and Development (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and FLACSO, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences). She has published extensively on South-South Cooperation, mediation, conflict transformation and participatory policy-making.


Mr. Javier Brolo

Senior Sociopolitical Researcher at Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales (ASIES)

Javier Brolo is a senior sociopolitical researcher at Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales (ASIES) and a professor in political science in Guatemala. He specializes in evidence-based and theory-grounded research using quantitative techniques implemented in the programming language, R. He received his academic training at Carleton College, Francisco Marroquín University, and the University of Essex. He has conducted research about elections, political parties, legislative affairs, public opinion, policy impact evaluation, and south-south cooperation. Additionally, he has coordinated policy discussions with public officials, civil society organizations, academic institutions, and media. is a researcher and professor of Political Science.


Ms. Shagufta Ahmad

Senior Project Officer at the Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR)

Ms. Shagufta Ahmad is Senior Project Officer at the Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR), an Arab human development think tank. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University, California and an MBA in Islamic Finance from Open University Malaysia. Her PhD interest lies in Economic Injustice vis-à-vis historic and modern paradigms. 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. Shagufta identifies as a “peace thinker” with membership in the Peace & Development sub-group of the Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation.


Ms. Manuela Trindade Viana

Adjunct Professor in the Institute of International Relations (IRI) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC Rio)

Manuela Trindade Viana is an Adjunct Professor in the Institute of International Relations (IRI) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC Rio), where she also coordinates the Undergraduate Program in International Relations. She holds a PhD in International Politics from IRI PUC Rio, Brazil. She is also a Research Fellow in the Centre for Military Studies (CEMIS), Stellenbosch, South Africa, and a researcher in the Global South Unit for Mediation. From 2013 until 2018, she was the managing editor of Pontes, a publication focused on trade and sustainable development, funded by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD).


Ms. Isabel Rocha de Siqueira

Senior Researcher on International Development at the BRICS Policy Center (BPC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-Rio)

Isabel Rocha de Siqueira is a senior researcher on international development at the BRICS Policy Center (BPC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-Rio). She has a PhD in International Relations (Department of War Studies, King’s College London) and has recently authored a book published by Routledge, in addition to articles in Third World Quarterly, International Political Sociology and Global Governance. Her work focuses on diverse social components of development, state fragility, P&D and the power of numbers in global governance. She works on peace & development at the BPC and coordinates research on SDG16 at the IRI, with funding from CNP, Brazil. She has been a member of the Peace and Development Global South Thinkers group since its establishment in 2018.


Mr. Tim Shaw

Faculty Fellow in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the McCormack Graduate School, UMass-Boston

Tim Shaw is a Faculty Fellow in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the McCormack Graduate School, UMass-Boston. He holds an MA from Makerere University in Uganda from the late-1960s and has been a visiting professor at universities in Zambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe & South Africa. He recently served as foundation GPD for a new PhD at UMass Boston on Global Governance & Human Security.

Shaw previously directed the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London where he remains professor emeritus. He also directed the Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies in T&T. As of February 1, 2013, he is an assigned professor in the faculty of social science at Aalborg University; and he continues to be visiting professor at Mbarara and Stellenbosch Universities in Africa. In June of 2014 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He has worked on a range of old/new security issues with CARICOM, the Commonwealth, Ford Foundation, QNRF, UNDP, UNECA & now IPSS @ the University of AA. His most recent book is Warner & Shaw (eds) African Foreign Policies in International Institutions (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).


Ms. Lauren Hess

Lauren Hess is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University as Fulbright Scholar. Focusing on Global Politics and Security, she is interested in the intersection of gender and security, global identity politics, and the geopolitical dynamics of BRICS. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Lauren completed a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and a BA (Hons) in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. In her current role as a Policy, Research and Outreach Intern for the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation she provides remote support for the development and implementation of projects for the Peace and Development portfolio.


Ms. Marina Caixeta

Marina Caixeta is a professional and field researcher of South-South Cooperation with over a decade of experience in both the Brazilian government and in the UN system in Brazil. In addition to her experience in international cooperation project management, Marina’s CV includes scientific papers and technical works on several issues and theoretical approaches concerning the South-South Cooperation.



Contact Details

Coordination: Cecilia Milesi, Senior Adviser on Peace and Development
Support Team: Lauren Hess, Programme Intern
Emails: cecilia.milesi@unossc.org ; lauren.hess@unossc.org
Phone: 1 212 906 5736




[1] For more information on UNOSSC emerging programme on SSC on peace and development please visit: https://www.unsouthsouth.org/our-work/knowledge-and-advisory-services/south-south-cooperation-on-peace-and-development/

[2] For more information about the Global South Thinkers on Peace and Development please visit: https://www.ssc-globalthinkers.org/group/9/about