Stronger Partnerships for Promoting SDG17Nov 17, 2016
“South-South Cooperation Providers and SDG17: Accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals Achievements” Workshop
Beijing, 7-9 Nov: Responding to the rising demand of South-South cooperation partners to look for best practices and experience, government officials and researchers met in Beijing to discuss how to generate more evidence of the catalytic value of South-South cooperation (SSC) to development, in complementarity to traditional aid, public and private funds, philanthropy, CSOs and private sector.
As a joint initiative between the China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), the Network of Southern Think tanks (NeST) China Chapter, and UNDP China, the event brought together SSC providers and other active partners in SSC to share perspectives on the role of SSC for the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SDG 17 in particular, from both government and academic perspectives in order to: discuss and promote SDG 17 and partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society for stronger partnerships for the SDGs; respond to requests raised by South-South cooperation providers to have a space for mutual learning and discussion; share progress on the Network of Southern Think Tanks (NEST), in China and globally, and research on measuring SSC and provide a NEST China platform for knowledge sharing.
“The global development and international cooperation landscape is changing rapidly, emerging economies and other developing countries have become key actors in global and regional development efforts over the past decades,” said Nicolas Rossellini, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China. “Within this environment the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was born a year ago, South-South and triangular Cooperation have increased in terms of strategic importance and volume. It is recognized among the international community that traditional aid flows will not be enough to address development challenges. New partnerships with and among developing nations are both the right thing to do and one of the best ways to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Achieving the SDGs will require extraordinary efforts. SDG 17 provides the “how” in terms of encouraging multiple partnerships. As a complementing approach with a long-standing history, SSC has proven very efficient in accommodating developing countries demands for technical knowhow, capacity building, investments and cooperation. With more and more developing countries joining the middle-income club, this movement is growing in numbers and demand. Over the three days, participants on the workshop explored many dimensions of South-South Cooperation, its impact and also its challenges in terms of for instance a common assessment framework. There are already great evidences of how South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation are contributing to the achievements of SDGs.
There is a variety of South-South and triangular approaches, and countries across the south differ widely in terms of size, economic and social development stage, political regime and priorities. Accordingly, South-South and triangular approaches are equally diverse, as are approaches to measuring their impact on development with no “one-size fits all” approach, emphasized by Professor LI Xiaoyun, Professor of China Agricultural University and President of Network of Southern Think Tanks (NEST). Based on knowledge and research shared by him, it is evident that there is a need to continue the momentum of SSC’s unique diversity, assessments, studies, impacts among the SSC providers to stimulate knowledge exchange, technology transfer, and capacity building.
What remains clear are that the diversity in SSC is also its very unique strength and this also applies to the ways in which countries assess and learn from SSC. As the SDG implementation moves into full force, the discussion in the workshop contributed specifically to the need for continuous evidence building on SSC, and to facilitate learning and capacity building among SSC providers. As a partner to the NeST family and China chapter of NeST, UNDP China supports the generation of assessments and evidence building of SSC, including testing of different approaches to determining the impact and effect of SSC through case studies.