- When: 14 September 2021, 09:30AM – 12:00 PM (Bangkok time)
- Registration: To register for this event, please click here.
On 14 September 2021, as part of the commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation in the region, the UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are convening a virtual Intergovernmental Organizations Meeting.
Background and Context
The United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is the designated focal point for promoting and facilitating South-South and Triangular cooperation for development on a global and United Nations system-wide basis. Within the last decade, the United Nations General Assembly has reinforced this role through resolutions 69/239 of 19 December 2014, 70/222 of 22 December 2015, 71/244 of 21 December 2016 and the recent Decision of the High-Level Committee SSC/20/L.5 of 3 June 2021. These resolutions pertain to “establishing a more formalized and strengthened inter-agency mechanism, coordinated by UNOSSC, to encourage joint support to South-South and triangular initiatives and share information”.
Since its establishment in 2017, the UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia-Pacific (ROAP) has been actively engaging with members of intergovernmental organisations in the region. Key partner organisations include regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings. Some have been invited to take part in several regional platforms/forums, including the Asia-Pacific Director-Generals (DGs) Forum for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, led by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with UNOSSC and other development partners. Some have also participated in South-South focal points network retreats, where information on the latest developments and trends in South-South and triangular cooperation and views on how to better integrate South-South and triangular cooperation in their work are exchanged. The latest edition of such consultations was the UN Regional South-South and Triangular Cooperation Focal Points Network Retreat, held in December 2020. During that consultation, participants learned about the UN Systemwide Strategy on South-South and triangular cooperation, related funds and resources available and the UN Development Reform at regional and national levels. Many of the regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings have South-South Cooperation as the central modality of delivering development cooperation in their work. Hence, the path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic includes such institutions.
The 20th session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, successfully held on 1-4 June 2021, reviewed progress made in implementing the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), the New Directions Strategy for South-South Cooperation, the Nairobi Outcome Document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation and the Buenos Aires Outcome Document of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40). The Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo 2022, to be co-hosted by the Royal Thai Government, ESCAP, and UNOSSC, is scheduled to take place in Bangkok under the theme of “Advancing South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable COVID-19 Recovery: Towards a smart and resilient future”. Furthermore, following the High-level Committee, the annual commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation follows shortly on 12 September.
Given these developments, and particularly, in the context of activities leading up to the GSSD Expo 2022, UNOSSC ROAP, ESCAP and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, as the co-organisers, propose to hold an inaugural Meeting of regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings in the region on South-South and triangular cooperation. The meeting may evolve into an informal Network depending on the outcome of the discussions.
This meeting is intended to be a networking platform for regional and subregional intergovernmental organisations and groupings in Asia and the Pacific, with the objective to
- discuss the latest developments in South-South and triangular cooperation at the global and regional levels;
- exchange ideas, experiences, good practices and lessons learnt;
- showcase successes, address challenges, and explore opportunities/solutions to further strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation.
Discussions will focus on 3 priority areas for the year 2021, i.e., climate change and green recovery, digital transformation, and SMEs Recovery and entrepreneurship. These thematic areas are perceived as key areas in mitigating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and in helping countries in the global South to build back better.
1. Opening session
- Mr. Adel Abdellatif, Director a.i., UNOSSC
- Representative from TICA
- Mr. Christophe Bahuet, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific (5 min)
- Mr. Adnan Aliani, Director of Strategy and Programme Management Division, ESCAP (5 min)
Launch of South-South Champions profile by Mr. Denis Nkala, UNOSSC Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific
2. Breakout Session I: Climate Change and Green Development
- H.E. Ambassador Solo Mara, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Development Forum Secretariat (PIDF);
- Md Masumur Rahman, Director General, South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP);
- Iosefa Maiava, Head, ESCAP Pacific Office;
- Ofa Kaisamy, Manager, Pacific Climate Change Centre, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
- Vong Sok, Head of Environment Division, Assistant Director of Sustainable Development, ASEAN Secretariat – TBC
Moderator: Mr. Koji Fukuda, Chief Technical Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
3. Breakout Session II: Digital Transformation for COVID-19 Recovery
- Masanori Kondo, Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT);
- Dr. Bambang Pramujtati, Vice Rector for Research, Innovation, Partnership and Alumni, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) Center of Excellence;
- Atsuko Okuda, Regional Director, International Telecommunication Union/Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU/BDT) Asia and Pacific Office;
- Kate Sutton, Head of the Regional Innovation Centre, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub
Moderator: Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director, UNESCO Jakarta Office
4. Breakout Session III: SMEs and Entrepreneurship for COVID-19 Recovery
- Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director, Mekong Institute;
- Sayed Yahya Akhlaqi, Deputy Secretary General, Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO);
- Chanchal Chand Sarkar, Director, Economic Trade Finance, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC);
- Penchan Manawanichkul, Head of Enterprise & Stakeholder Engagement Division, ASEAN Secretariat
- Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) – TBC
Moderator: Ms. Sara Elder, Senior Economist and Head, Regional Economic & Social Analysis (RESA) Unit, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific – TBC
5. Brief on the discussions from each breakout session
6. Closing remarks
- Mr. Denis Nkala, UNOSSC Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific