Background

The representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) briefed the Committee on preparations for the third Global South-South Development Expo, which it would jointly host with the Special Unit of the United Nations for South-South Cooperation, from 22 to 26 November 2010. She noted that South-South cooperation had been a strategic partnership development tool for more than 30 years that was capable of promoting sustainable growth and contributing to social development. The past decade had seen a revival of the concept of South-South cooperation.

It was highlighted in the Accra Agenda for Action and frequently referenced in intergovernmental consultations, as a complement to the traditional North-South dynamic. In introducing the Aide-Mémoire on the Expo (CEB/2010/HLCP-XX/INF.2), she noted that this year’s Expo aimed at presenting and discussing critical issues faced in the light of the challenges presented by globalization and the financial crisis.

Discussion

In the discussion that followed, members expressed their support for the Expo and welcomed the proposal to increase focus on this issue. The policy implications of the rise of the South and of emerging economies should be taken into account in the discussions on South-South cooperation. United Nations system organizations should also continue to give particular attention to challenges faced by middle income countries. It was suggested that the United Nations system increase its efforts to provide an enabling platform for South-South cooperation.

The Director of the CEB secretariat informed the Committee that the Joint Inspection Unit was initiating a major study of existing capacity, within the United Nations system, on South-South cooperation. In that regard, Joint Inspection Unit Inspectors would be contacting United Nations system focal points for information. This study would provide a useful survey of United Nations capacity, and current strengths and weaknesses.

Action

The Committee took note of the briefing and agreed to revert to a further discussion on the policy coherence dimensions of South-South and triangular cooperation at a later session.