Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 2021 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Geneva-based South Center have strongly advocated for the formulation of national strategies for South-South and Triangular Cooperation. The two institutions made the call in a joint policy paper on National Ecosystems for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTrC) titled ‘Policy Paper on National Strategies for SSTrC.’ The joint policy paper developed a framework on how to formulate the SSTrC strategies.
While many developing countries do not have explicit SSTrC strategies, the state of play shows that its elements can be found in various policies, institutional guidance and national development strategies. The absence of a holistic approach and a nationally acknowledged strategy carries the risk of fragmentation in undertaking SSTrC strategies.
For these reasons, the IsDB has identified the development of a national strategy to guide a country’s SSTrC interventions as a fundamental pillar of a country’s ‘National Ecosystems for SSTrC’ framework. A national strategy for SSTrC serves as guidance for a country’s SSTrC activities, initiatives and institutional framework, both from the perspective of being a provider and a beneficiary of SSTrC. Furthermore, they provide a clear long-term vision and defined goals and targets of SSTrC and strengthen cohesion by aligning with the general national development strategies of the Member Countries.
On the occasion of the Policy Paper’s release, IsDB President, Dr, Bandar Hajjar, has indicated that “this Policy Paper comes at a critical juncture in the context of the ongoing pandemic, providing guidance on how countries may develop their national strategies in order to become effective and efficient contributors in SSTrC” and reiterated the Bank’s leading role in SSTrC, indicating that “the IsDB will continue to advocate for the concept of national ecosystems for SSTrC in order to strengthen the institutional arrangements for SSTrC in the Member Countries as well as at the regional and global levels. A foundational element for effective engagement in SSTrC is the development of a robust national strategy for SSTrC”.
Dr. Carlos Correa, Executive Director of the South Center noted: “For the South Center, as an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, it is a priority to enhance their capacity to engage in SSTrC, including through the development of well-defined national strategies. We are very happy to partner with the IsDB so as to contribute to the implementation of this and other pillars of the National Ecosystems for SSTrC.”
The Bank, together with its strategic partners such as the South Center, has been ramping up its thought-leadership in SSTrC by developing new frameworks and knowledge products that strengthen the architecture of SSTrC, nationally, regionally, as well as globally.
Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IsDB has continued its elaboration of the national ecosystems framework by developing new tools such as the recently released ‘Assessment Framework on National Ecosystems for SSTrC’ which is a detailed framework for conducting capacity gaps analysis in countries of the South and provide inputs for tailor-made, country-specific capacity development interventions to strengthen national ecosystems for SSTrC.
The IsDB is the leading multilateral development bank (MDB) owned by countries from the Global South alone. It has been promoting SSTrC among its Member Countries since its establishment and contributes actively to the global conversation on strengthening development cooperation.
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