Helen Clark: Speech on "South-South Co-operation: Experiences from the Chile Fund Against Hunger and Poverty"

Jan 14, 2015

UNDP is pleased to co-host this event, with Chile, on South-South Co-operation and to showcase our partnership with Chile through the Chile Fund Against Hunger and Poverty.

The Chile-UNDP Fund

In establishing the Fund, Chile and UNDP determined to join forces to fight poverty and hunger in accordance with Chile’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.

Through the Fund we support the exchange of experiences between developing countries which have faced or are facing similar challenges.

Chile’s development progress offers valuable lessons and guidance - including in the design, implementation, and assessment of policies which can accelerate social and economic progress.

Since 2012 the Fund has awarded US$ 2.4 million to twenty South-South Co-operation projects, implemented by civil society organizations, Chilean public institutions, and UN agencies in eighteen different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Africa. The humanitarian aid track of the Fund has fast-tracked an additional US$485,000 to support responses to crises in Mali, South Sudan, Gaza, and beyond.

Alongside and in support of Chile’s development leadership and experience, UNDP has brought to the partnership its extensive technical and administrative expertise. We work with Chile on the selection of the projects to be supported, the administration of funds, the monitoring and evaluation of results, and on the communication of lessons learned. We were pleased to feature the Fund and the initiatives it has supported at the Global South-South Development Expo in Washington DC last November.

The projects delivered through this Fund have helped improve the lives of the populations targeted. They have also enabled us to pilot different ways of supporting South-South Co-operation.

UNDP: Long-time supporter of South-South co-operation

As UNDP implements its Strategic Plan for 2014-2017, we have determined to make South-South and triangular Co-operation central to our way of working.  This comes naturally to UNDP, building on the roles it has long played as a knowledge broker, a builder of capacity, and a facilitator of exchanges between developing countries.

South-South Co-operation is an important instrument for human and sustainable development. The experiences, knowledge, and innovation shared among developing countries are often particularly suited to addressing the challenges and realities countries face.

According to the most recent Report of the Secretary General on the “State of South-South Co-operation”, investment in it between 2006 and 2011 broadly doubled, reaching US$16 to 19 billion – that is roughly equivalent to ten per cent of the total public financing flows for development. These figures, however, almost certainly understate the total volume of South-South Co-operation.

Latin America and the Caribbean: A history of co-operation

The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have long engaged in South-South Co-operation.

According to the 2013-2014 Report on South-South Co-operation in Ibero-America, countries in the region recorded close to 7,000 South-South Co-operation projects or other actions between 2007 and 2012. The Report concluded that in 2013 every Latin American country had benefited from South-South Co-operation. Most were also giving back through South-South Co-operation – with their support spread across a wide range of development areas.
Sub-regional organizations, including the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Central America Integration System (SICA) have helped drive regional initiatives to strengthen citizen security, thereby making a very important contribution to development.

UNDP is pleased to support South-South Co-operation throughout the region and beyond, through its universal presence in developing countries and as host of the UN Office for South-South Co-operation. Our International Policy Centres in Brazil, Kenya, Republic of Korea, India, Norway, Singapore, and Turkey are helping to identify and disseminate knowledge and experience across the Global South. We are also working at the request of a number of development co-operation agencies in emerging economies to strengthen their institutional capacity.

As the international community defines the post-2015 development agenda, the role and importance of South-South Co-operation cannot be overstated. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, access to diverse sources of financing, knowledge and experiences, technical assistance, and innovation will be even more important.

UNDP is committed to help countries engage in and benefit from South-South and triangular Co-operation. We are grateful to all those engaged in South-South Co-operation who, like Chile, have chosen UNDP to accompany them in their work.

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