Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Remarks at the signing of MoU with Research for Information System for Developing Countries towards frontier thinking and mutual learning on South-South Cooperation

Jul 14, 2017

MoU Signing: Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and Ambassador Hardeep S. Puri, Chairperson of RIS. (Photo: UNDP)

I welcome the partners, the panellists and all the participants in this special event which marks the beginning of a new partnership with the Research of Information System (RIS) for Developing Countries in its capacity as the Secretariat for the Network of Southern Think (NeST). The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) we will sign today with the RIS as the NeST Secretariat formalizes UNDP’s commitment to promoting high quality research, knowledge sharing, and support to developing countries to achieve sustainable development. We aim to move forward engaging directly with think tanks members of NeST regional and national chapters.

This event is also an opportunity for open exchanges on frontier thinking and mutual learning on South-South Cooperation and most particularly on the importance of impact assessment frameworks in South-South Cooperation for sustainable development.  

The 2030 Agenda placed a strong emphasis on the importance of good quality data to inform policy dialogues and decision making in the pursuit of the SDGs. Many Southern countries and non-state actors including think tanks have called for improved data collection on South-South Cooperation for sound analysis on trends and challenges and eventual course adjustment. Systematic data collection would allow developing countries, sub-regions and regions to better design, implement and evaluate their own South-South Cooperation projects and initiatives.

To address those gaps, UNDP and the UN Office for South-South Co-operation (UNOSSC) have launched the “South-South Global Thinkers: The Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation”. This is a joint effort to draw on the high-quality of expertise of existing think tank networks and research institutes and develop a knowledge platform for South-South Cooperation research and policy dialogues.  The research, knowledge and policy advocacy generated under this initiative will inform global policy dialogues on South-South and triangular Cooperation, including the upcoming 40th Anniversary of Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA+40) and other intergovernmental mechanisms.

UNDP believes that Think Tanks from the Global South are well positioned to capture such a historic knowledge sharing opportunity and to champion thought leadership in South-South Cooperation for sustainable development. NeST partners will benefit from a global platform fostering regional research and knowledge produced by a multi-disciplinary community of think tanks. 

Today’s discussion on impact assessment for South-South Cooperation, which is a priority research area of the Coalition, is an excellent example of the critical role that think tanks can play in conceptualizing and advancing development theories and in linking assessment results to policies and practices. Ultimately, performance measurement and high quality evidence aim to support strategic decisions by relevant actors to improve effectiveness of South-South Cooperation.

UNDP looks forward to working with NeST and its network of partners in this endeavour and we thank you all for your commitment to sustainable development.

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