South-South and Triangular cooperation
On the 24-25 of August RIS organised a conferences on South-South and Triangular cooperation (SSC and TDC) in Delhi to strengthen the dialogue process among the policymakers, practitioners and academics.
There are several factors which have generated great attention to SSC: increasing number of success stories, growing interest of developed and developing economies of SSC as well as in BRICS cooperation, wide range of projects undertaken and convenient mode of implementation. All these indicate that the developing countries are playing an important role in economically empowering cooperation. Actually, SSC covers political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains in the form of bilateral, regional, sub-regional or inter-regional cooperation. Southern nations, in particular, present an important experience in sharing an increasingly vast amount of knowledge, skills, expertise and resources to meet their development goals through joint efforts and SSC has resulted in increased volume of trade flows and FDI. It is also advancing the spirit of regional economic integration. There is also a considerable increase in sharing of technology and solutions to solve problems related to mutual problems of development. The SSC has proved the effectiveness of the public and private partnership, academia research and participation of all types of institutions in meeting new challenges.
Actually, BRICS developing economies are turning to one another to advance their mutual economic growth, rather than singularly depending on the traditional donors.The Global South is also richly contributs to the exchange of technical assistance and social development. Some countries of SSD community have developed successfully their own modules of skill development, agricultural entrepreneurship of different programmes, health programmes, rural development programmes, and wellness programmes for citizens. The Pan-African e-network Project spanning 53 African countries is one such interesting examples of SSC. Many other developing countries are also engaged in advancing cooperative and collaborative spirit of SSC to reduce poverty, improve public health and enhance educational facilities. Over the years, several institutions, including RIS, have carried out substantial research work on SSC, which have helped in generating a much better and clear picture of SSC. The conference, organized by RIS with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and other international partner agencies is to contribute to SSC and BRICS cooperation, specially, in sharing of a wide range of perspectives by eminent scholars and key traditional foreign assistance providers for better understanding of the new international developments and assistance architecture. The coming together of civil society organizations, from India and abroad, government experts, academics and subject experts from various national, regional and international organizations has contributed extensively in understanding SSC in a multi-dimensional perspective.
The Conference on South-South Cooperation organized by RIS and the Network consist of dIscussions and debates for identification of features that would lead partners to come to understanding of the approaches, that will help to move forward some degree of integration.A number of prominent delegates representing developing countries were attending this event. There were a lot of topics discudssed:framework and emerging global order, interlinking cooperation, health and capacity building, banking, finance, investments and legal framework, , science technology and innovations, role of civil society and private sector, etc. It was stressed out, that fInancing for development has emerged as one of key issues of international cooperation in the last couple of years.Lack of consensus on illicit financial flows and transfer pricing as well as absence of general principles of partnership block an access to development finance.
The delegates have come to conclusion, that institutions and systems of emerging countries require greater efforts for meeting similar objectives. Discussions identified the features that lead partner countries towards a certain degree of convergence within the new global environment. The most burning topics and challenges were discussed during six sessions. The 1st plenary session on ‘SSC Framework and Emerging Global Order’ wwas focused on issues beyond the so-called definitional debates to situate the existing SSC Framework in the emerging global order. The other important issues include, status of SSC in global governance of development cooperation, and potential of newly emerging models of development cooperation in expanding the SSC spirit of “sharing” in global governance of development cooperation.
The 2nd plenary session dealt with ways to interlink SDGs, SSC and TDC and suggest possible “institutional” structures that can effectively help achieve desired targets. Given the global consensus about achieving the SDGs by 2030 so that no one is left behind, SSC and TC will have to play a vital and definite role. One of the parallel session on ‘Sectoral Connect to SSC’ was focused on agriculture, health, infrastructure development, banking and finance, human resource development – mainly capacity development and training and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). These sectors are significant for realizing the SDGs by 2030 for understanding of the issues involved, nature of partnerships required and the related challenges, and of the extent of new value created in these sectors. Some of the issues came out of discussions. They are:
- to what extent does the SSC contribute to building the capacity of independent production system of a partner country? In other words, how does SSC influence local level production systems and value chains in specific sectors?
- how does the SSC contribute to local capacity building and strengthening the existing institutions in terms of the identified sectors
- does the SSC add to the sectoral competitiveness and integrated development of partner countries?
One of the sessions on the second day of the conference was dedicated to the issues linked to ‘Impact Assessment of the SSC and Triangular Cooperation’ through presentation of cases from across the world and it covered deeply the key aspects of science, technology and Innovations. The plenary session on 25.08. 2017 was dedicated to the memory of Prof. Saman Kalegama, a scientist,who contributed greatly to great friend of RIS and the community of SSC and Triangular Cooperation. The session iwas focused on perspectives and concerns to island nations in general and those located in the Pacific Ocean in particular within the scope of SSC and TDC Cooperation. The presenters spoke about the island economies and their involvement in select ocean resources such as fisheries, tourism, ocean energy, deep sea mining and so on. The economic fortunes of the small island economies depend on the efficient utilization of select ocean resources and thus expose them to develop "Blue Economy”.
The conference concluded with discussion on the future research agenda for the SSC - TDC and policy imperatives.The agend included documentation of success stories and the factors that contributed to cooperation. The issues that were highlighted during this session are:
- principles for assessment of SSC and TDC ;
- the role of non-State actors including the civil society, private sector and communities in SSC and TDC projects;
- role of UN and other institutions in SSC - TDC cooperation and how to contribute towards the growing demand for global developments.
In a wrapping up session it was stressed out, that the person to person contacts are very important for developing countries and should be conveyed trough relevant Think tanks, academic, political and other types of alliances of developing economies and integrated structures.
Prof. Irina Yarygina
NCR BRICS expert