UNOSSC, within its mandate as the focal point for coordinating, promoting and facilitating South-South and triangular cooperation for development on a global and United Nations system-wide basis, along with its development partners, have developed a global knowledge sharing and partnership brokering platform “South-South Galaxy” based on its consultation with over 15 United Nations entities.
With the increasing proliferation of digital platforms developed by United Nations entities and other development actors, Southern countries and development partners can benefit from a common space where they can access all relevant information on South-South and triangular cooperation, connect with multidisciplinary expertise, connect with a large variety of solutions, and link up with viable funding mechanisms, without being limited to fragmentation of information of sectoral boundaries. As such, South-South Galaxy serves as a consolidated South-South solutions platform for Southern partners in the UN system and acts as a one-stop-shop for all partners to use and complements, rather than substitutes or duplicates existing national and regional institutional arrangements. One of its distinct functions is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI)- which is able to better “learn” about the interest and behaviour of the users on the platform by providing the most relevant content, real-time data and solutions in order to enhance user experience. Its objective is to eliminate a significant barrier to entry in which many southern partners currently face in accessing reliable and diverse range of knowledge, information and partners. South-South Galaxy is being expanded through inter-agency collaboration. It was launched during UN South-South day which was witnessed by the UN Secretary General and UNDP Administrator.
Currently, South-South Galaxy has a growing global repository of solutions and resources on SSC and TrC from over 154 partners. South-South Galaxy is being expanded through inter-agency collaboration.
Development of research and knowledge products on SSC and TrC
Data collection and frontier research on South-South Cooperation: Special importance has been given in generating and developing good quality data and research on South-South and triangular cooperation to inform policy dialogues, decision making, and development cooperation practices, in the pursuit of the SDGs. In this pursuit, This is a joint effort to draw on the high-quality expertise of think tank networks and research institutes from the South (as well as some from the North) and to develop a platform for SSC research and knowledge sharing. Eight Research reports and studies (under the South-South Ideas series) have been developed that seek to better inform global policy dialogues and agenda setting on SSC and inform policy makers and development practitioners on the value of SSC and TrC and to assist them in making informed decisions on their SSC and TrC investment with the goal in accelerating progress towards the SDGs. The research studies were launched during the BAPA+40 conference.
Additionally, UNOSSC produced the Cooperation Beyond Convention – Independent Report on South-South and Triangular Cooperation mandated by the Secretary General which reviews the history and transformation of South-South and triangular cooperation and provides innovative analysis of local, regional and global southern cooperative initiatives to scale up understanding and support for models of cooperation. UNOSSC also produced and launched a report on “South-South Cooperation in a Digital World” during a BAPA+40 side-event which analyzes digital opportunities and challenges in the context of South-South cooperation. It explores and analyzes development prospects and trends affecting and impacting digital industries in the Global South.
Finally, UNOSSC along with its development partners developed 17 South-South in Action reports along with other knowledge reports. These reports provide partners a platform to publish their successful policies, initiatives, and activities that have led to the achievement of some of their development goals through South-South and triangular cooperation (SSC and TrC). Such a publication provides a country or an organization to distil their own perception of their successful undertakings, initiatives, policies and/or activities. These publications also offer a window for development partners to see and recognize opportunities for collaboration that exist in the South.
UNOSSC has convened many South-South policy dialogues and consultative processes which have served as a source of ideas on how best to eradicate poverty and address other transnational challenges facing many countries in the South. For example, UNOSSC under the South-South Global Thinkers initiative convened four policy dialogues with members of the Global Coalition. This includes the South-South Global Thinker’s Dialogue: Reflection on the BAPA+40 Outcome Document in; Strengthening SDG 17 through South-South and Triangular Cooperation-Plurality and Way Forward from BAPA+40; Financing of SDGs: Challenges faced by Developing Countries with regards to capital flight; The Role of South-South Cooperation in Promoting and Deepening Trade and Investment in Africa. Through these policy dialogues with think tanks which also engaged members states and other development partners they were provided with a platform to share their reflections on priority topics on SSC and TrC and propose research ideas and knowledge initiatives for the future that would be important for Southern Countries and development partners.
Additionally, Southern think tanks and research institutions are frequently consulted to ensure southern voices, perspectives and inputs are shared, reflected and communicated in research documents. One notable consultation is the joint UNOSSC-UNDP HDRO consultation on the 2019 HDR on “Inequality in Human Development” through the engagement of with members of the South-South Global Thinkers – a Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation. The consultation brought together over 13 Southern-based think tanks and many more engaged in an earlier e-discussion on the topic of inequality via the South-South Global Thinkers Platform. The consultation gathered various Southern perspectives on the main drivers of inequality in different parts of the world and provided insights on policy interventions that may have the potential to break through these cycles. Due to the perspectives provided, HDRO has requested UNOSSC to conduct a similar consultation for the 2020 HDR.