The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the mandate to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID). This mandate is fully recognized in Sustainable Development Goal -9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, with its relevance applicable to all SDGs.
UNIDO: South-South Cooperation Partner of the Month
South-South &Triangular Industrial Cooperation (SSTIC)
The adoption of the Buenos Aires outcome document at the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) underscored the enormous potential of South-South and triangular cooperation for the 2030 Agenda in various areas of the UNIDO mandate. In 2019, UNIDO published a policy on South-South and Triangular Industrial Cooperation (SSTIC), which aligned the Organization’s work with global South-South initiatives. The Organization defines SSTIC as a “form of collaboration between and among countries of the South for the promotion of ISID, supported by UNIDO and/or a Northern partner”. UNIDO’s SSTIC services are based on the principles set out in the Buenos Aires outcome document: (i) respect for national sovereignty; (ii) national ownership and independence; (iii) equality; (iv) non-conditionality; (v) non-interference in domestic affairs; and (vi) mutual benefit.
SSTIC at UNIDO
Over the past four decades, UNIDO has been supporting and promoting cooperation among Southern countries, in partnership with various stakeholders, to help countries advance ISID. Technologies and solutions tried and tested under similar contexts can help Southern countries to focus on locally available capacities and resources to overcome industrial development constraints through mutually beneficial collaboration. The SSTIC modality does not only form the basis for a large number of UNIDO’s technical cooperation projects, but also featured as a key component in its programmatic approaches: the Programmes for Country Partnership (PCPs) and the Country Programmes (CPs). The PCP is UNIDO’s flagship multi-stakeholder platform, bringing together different ministries, financial entities, United Nations entities and development partners, the private sector and Southern institutions. Throughout this process, UNIDO acts as a neutral broker, promoting cooperation and coordination among these different stakeholders.
UNIDO engages Internal capacity-building, advisory services and knowledge management based on success stories, lessons learned and best practices, leverages additional resources from governments, development organizations, financial institutions and business sector entities committed to promoting South-South cooperation. The Organization further facilitates matchmaking through specialized networks, centers and workshops, provides convening platforms and dialogues among various stakeholders focused on knowledge and experience sharing and engages in Technical Cooperation projects under the SSTIC modality.
Transfer of Industrial Technologies
UNIDO facilitates the transfer of industrial technologies among Southern countries and businesses in a variety of thematic areas such as agriculture, low-carbon power generation and various methodologies for the creation of sustainable industrial products. Technologies can be adapted to the specific needs of developing countries based on the state of their industrial development, geographic location and national development priorities. The goal of technology transfers is to provide scalable solutions to developing countries, to support their long-term development of technological capabilities and facilitate their inclusion into global value chains.
Exchange of Knowledge & Capacity Building
Increasing awareness and promoting Southern narratives, solutions and alternatives for positive industrial development is crucial to meeting the demands of UNIDO Member States. While technology transfer is a first step to support ISID in developing and transition economies, the knowledge of how to operate newly acquired technologies, to build businesses around them, to attract investment and to ensure the environmental and social sustainability of emerging business sectors, is essential for sustainable development. UNIDO supports knowledge exchanges and capacity-building via SSTIC modalities. UNIDO organizes study tours, delegate programmes, workshops, trainings and various platforms for the exchange of industrial knowledge to provide its Southern Member States with the necessary expertise to develop industrial capacities.
UNIDO as a Global Convener for SSTIC
SSTIC aspires to play a pivotal role in contributing to relevant dialogues on South-South cooperation within the United Nations system as well as to provide new stimuli for industrial cooperation among developing countries. Consequently, UNIDO’s SSTIC has contributed to global South-South cooperation forums and conferences, organized South-South focused events and brought together private sector partners, government entities and other stakeholders. UNIDO’s convening power in the area of industrial development has allowed companies and businesses in the global South to access a network of global partners from various industries to forge long-lasting partnerships and achieve scalable results for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Networks & Platforms Focused on South-South Cooperation
Various existing platforms and networks within the UNIDO framework facilitate SSTIC. These further enhance the thematic areas and partnerships for South-South cooperation. The following are some of the UNIDO networks and platforms that promote development through the SSTIC modality.
- The UNIDO Centre for South-South Industrial Cooperation;
- UNIDO Field Offices;
- The International Centre on Small Hydro Power;
- The Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Network;
- The Climate Technology Centre and Network;
- The Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres;
- The inclusive and sustainable industrial development operation platform;
- The UNIDO Network of Investment and Technology Promotion Offices;
To increase the impact of its technical cooperation as well as to promote major issues related to industrial development, UNIDO has joined forces with other organizations and counterparts from the international community, as well as with actors from the private sector, including non-governmental organizations, and academia.