- When: 17 September, 2020, 3:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.
- Venue: 11 Milne Road, Domain, Suva, Fiji
- Theme: South-South Cooperation, COVID-19 Impacts on the Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Role of South-South Volunteerism.
In its resolution A/RES/58/220 of 2004, the United Nations General Assembly designated 12 September of each year as “The United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation”. On this date in 1978, the General Assembly endorsed, through resolution 33/134, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA).
The commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation in 2020 follows the successful convening of the Second United Nations High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA + 40) in March 2019. The conference emphasized the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation contributions towards the achievement of the sustainable development agenda. Although this is the second occasion of the commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation since BAPA +40, in 2019 no significant events were put together in lieu of the resources and efforts expended on the big Conference in Buenos Aires. However, the 2020 commemoration will take place in the shadow of an unprecedented environment and shocks on the health and economic systems in the whole world resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, in his report of March 2020 entitled, “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-1” underlined that, “more than ever before, we need solidarity, hope, political will and cooperation” to fight this crisis together. South-South cooperation principles of solidarity and empathy are needed now more than ever for an effective response and recovery from the pandemic. Developing countries have taken the lead in showing solidarity in response to COVID-19, providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical equipment. Furthermore, some have developed sub-regional and regional common strategies for recovery from the Pandemic.
Some of the key aspects of enabling South-South cooperation to play a significant role in the pandemic recovery and attainment of sustainable development goals will include knowledge sharing, data gathering to enable informed decision making and targeting, and increased people to people connectivity to accelerate the implementation of best practices.
In the Pacific, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the newly established Pacific Sub-regional UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the UN Volunteers Programme (UNV) are hosting a networking event to commemorate UN South-South Cooperation Day.
UNOSSC will present its finding of the survey for the Pacific Island countries that gauges the scale of South-South collaboration in the COVID-19 response, recovery and furthermore to identify some major areas of demand for South-South Cooperation.
The Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha will launch the “South-South in Action” publication titled “South-South Volunteering as a driving force for people to people exchanges: Experiences and perspective from Asia-Pacific.” The publication focuses on the efficacy of South-South volunteerism in accelerating people to people connectivity and sharing of solutions for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the review of case studies from Thailand, Cambodia and China.
Session 1 – Opening:
- Welcome remarks by the moderator Mr. Solomone Momoivalu, UNOSSC Pacific Sub regional Office Advisor
- Video Message by the UNOSSC Deputy Director, Ms Grace Wang
- Remarks by UN Resident Coordinator Pacific Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha and delivery of SG’s Message
- Video Message: Mr. Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme
- Remarks by PIDF Secretary General Ambassador Solo Mara
- Remarks by Fiji Roving Ambassador – Ambassador Amena Yauvoli
Session 2 – Presentation of Survey Findings:
- Presentation of Survey by UNOSSC Pacific Sub-regional Head of Office – Denis Nkala (virtual link)
Session 3 – Launch of the South-South in Action Publication:
- UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Sanaka Kumara Samarasinha to launch the “South-South Volunteering as a driving force for people to people exchanges.
Session 4 – Vote of thanks:
- Vote of thanks by UNV Pacific Country Coordinator, Ms. Ruci Botei
- Photo Session
Networking and Light Refreshments