South-South Global Thinkers Facilitates 2023 Human Development Report Thematic Consultation on South-South Cooperation

By August 9, 2023 August 14th, 2023 News

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report Office (HDRO) partnered with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and South-South Global Thinkers, a joint initiative by UNOSSC and UNDP, to convene a technical consultation on the 2023 Human Development Report. Aiming to draw insights and perspectives from the Global South, the consultation brought together prominent experts, scholars and practitioners in the field, along with senior managers and specialists from UNDP and UNOSSC.

The first session of the consultation focused on governance mismatches. Participants delved into the interlinked challenges in the Global South, mainly due to climate change, demographic ageing, international migration, and the digital revolution, and emphasized that a better state of democracy is a fundamental solution to tackle the challenges discussed. The discussions also elaborated on how to reform the global development finance architecture to improve governance mismatches and achieve structural transformation for developing countries. The discussions further suggested that binding the SDGs and short-term financial issues of the Global South together may be a way to solve development challenges and promote sustainable, inclusive growth for Southern countries in the long-term.

The second session was centred on investing in one another. Participants stressed that global public goods are an important element to connect different forces in global development, regardless of the North or the South. Emerging challenges for the provision of global public goods in a changing world and some recommendations on how to solve them were discussed and provided. The discussion also indicated that human development should be inclusive and empowering, demonstrating the importance of dignifying local knowledge and culture, and community media to help foster sustainable development. Participants also explored political trends of polarization and political trust in Latin America and what should be done in response to the political climate. Furthermore, they talked about climate insensitivity of financial institutions towards climate-vulnerable countries in the Global South, as well as the need to reimagine the global financial system. Lastly, the discussion revealed some issues in the concept note of the Human Development Report regarding uncertainty and criticality.

The consultation was opened by Mr. Pedro Conceição, Director of UNDP Human Development Report Office, and Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, and was moderated by Ms. Josefin Pasanen, Research and Partnership Specialist of UNDP Human Development Report Office. The opening was followed by interventions from Mr. Luis Hernán Vargas, Executive Director, Espacio Público, Chile; Prof. Jiajun Xu, Executive Deputy Director and Assistant Professor at Peking University; Prof. Ishac Diwan, Director of Research, Finance for Development Lab, Paris School of Economics; Ms. Vanesa D´Alessandre, Social Protection and Education researcher CIPPEC, Argentina; Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka; Prof. Xu Jin, Associate Professor at China Agricultural University; Prof. Kanchan K Malik, Faculty Fellow at University of Hyderabad, India; Dr. Tania Vásquez Luque, Senior Researcher at Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), Peru; Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institution (SDPI), Pakistan; and Ms. Nigar Islamli, Grants and Programs Director/ Head of Gender Development Group, Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD), Azerbaijan.