By Rita Joshi
BERLIN | BRUSSELS (IDN) - The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) have agreed to embark on concrete joint initiatives to foster South-South and triangular cooperation amongst their mutual constituencies, according to the ACP Press Office.
The ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for South-South Cooperation and UNOSSC Director Jorge Chediek exchange letters at the ACP headquarters in Brussels on July 11.
The agreement outlines the key areas of cooperation such as: fostering South-South and triangular cooperation among the two parties' mutual constituencies, as well with other developing countries to support intraregional and regional integration; and deepening institutional partnerships to scale up knowledge-sharing, showcasing and scaling up of development solutions, and technology transfer.
The agreement also stressea the importance of providing support to the two parties' constituencies towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and promote joint coordination and support in harmonizing policy and technical approaches in South-South cooperation by introducing complementary programmes such as the establishment of the ACP Group trust fund for South-South cooperation.
“As we reposition the ACP Group to be a dynamic force and effective global player, it is through partnerships with institutions such as the UNOSSC that we expect to realise our vision and goals in the fight against poverty and inequality. We intend to draw on the rich pool and heritage of solutions, innovative strategies, and experiences that are to be found in our countries, and the Global South,” stated ACP Secretary General Dr. Gomes at the signing ceremony.
“The ACP Group of States is a natural forum for South-South and triangular cooperation and natural partners for those who wish to promote South-South cooperation. The aim is to work together to put South-South cooperation at the centre of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, as we know that many of the answers to development problems can already be found in developing countries of the South,” said UNOSSC’s Chediek.
“The member states of the ACP Group are convinced of the central role of South-South cooperation in addressing the development challenges we face. South-South and triangular cooperation can facilitate the exchange of information, experiences and best practices, knowledge and technology in a variety of sectors. It is an important complementary force to traditional North-South development cooperation,” added the Chairman of the ACP Sub-Committee of Development Finance Cooperation, and Ambassador of Benin to the EU, Charles Todjinou, who was a special guest at the ceremony.
As part of this new partnership, the ACP Group is expected to participate in the upcoming 8th annual Global South-South Development Expo scheduled for October 30 to November 3 in Dubai, UAE. Since 2011, the ACP Secretariat has also been organising a number of flagship international symposia focused on South-South and triangular cooperation.
The signing of the agreement follows on the 8th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea May 30-June 1, 2016, whereby leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the sustainable development of ACP states and improved living standards of ACP citizens, through South-South, North-South and Triangular Cooperation.
The ACP Group called for earliest adoption of a United Nations General Assembly Resolution to develop an international legal framework governing human rights and climate change with a view to protecting the human rights and interests of people displaced by impacts of climate change internally and across borders.
The ACP 8th Summit also proposed that a joint conference be convened by the UN and international financial institutions with the support of the European Commission and its Member States to discuss “strategies for financing multiannual development programmes of the ACP countries”.
Such a conference would also focus on policies for the “intensification of South-South and Triangular Cooperation to build the productive capacities of ACP countries”. [IDN-InDepthNews – 11 July 2016]
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
Photo: Signing ceremony for exchange of letters between UNOSSC and ACP Secretariat. Credit: ACP