Every year September 12 is celebrated as UN International day for South-South Cooperation. India being an emerging South economy, is playing a significant role to improve trade and investment policies among other low income countries especially in South Africa and Asia.
In 2017, India-UN Development Partnership Fund was established as a partnership between the Republic of India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).So far, it has financed over 40 initiatives and projects across the Global South. It is supported and led by the Government of the Republic of India, managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and implemented in collaboration with the United Nations system.
The fund supports the Southern-owned and led and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world, with a focus on least developed countries and small island developing states.
Watch the video for more information on India’s role:
What is South-South Cooperation?
Global North, Global South
Before we understand South- South Cooperation, lets understand the meaning of ‘South’ and ‘North’. The North and South divide came especially after the World War II. The term North is referred to rich industrialised, like United States, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Russia. These countries have high per capita income. On the other hand, South refers to Africa, Latin America, developing Asian countries India, China and Indonesia.
The North is mostly correlated with the Western world, developed countries and the First World, while the South largely corresponds with the Third World, developing countries and Eastern world. South has history of colonialism by North, often European states.
Map Source: Wikipedia
In the map, countries in Blue represent North and developed countries, and countries in red represent South and developing countries.
Why South-South Cooperation?
Post World War II, the gap between the developed and developing countries (just the decolonised countries) continued to increase. Further, the presence of developing countries was felt more since the very inception of United Nations. Half of UN members were from developing countries. When the global South felt that global North was not doing enough to bridge economic gap, Global South came together to challenge the North dominance in the political and economic system.
South-South Cooperation (SSC) was formed in a bid to develop themselves by promoting trade and collaboration within its agencies. The formation can be traced back to ‘Bandung Conference’ in 1955. Indonesia’s president, Sukarno, referred to it as “the first intercontinental conference of coloured peoples in the history of mankind.”
In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly established a special unit within the United Nations Development Programme to promote technical co-operation among developing countries.
In 1978 a conference of the Global South onTechnical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) was held in Buenos Aires for Promoting and Implementing TCDC. The conference adopted Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The Special Unit was strengthened in order to fulfil its primary mandate, set forth in BAPA.
In 2012 its name was then changed to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), advocate for and coordinate South-South and triangular cooperation on a global and UN system-wide basis.
South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional basis. Developing countries share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources to meet their development goals through concerted efforts.