Online Event: The United Nations and South-South Cooperation

Cover: Online Event: Die Vereinten Nationen und Süd-Süd-Kooperation Zusammen mit dem indischen Think Tank Research and Information System for Developing

In cooperation with the Indian think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) co-hosted the webinar The UN@75 and South-South cooperation: evolving roles and responsibilities on 16 February 2021. Attended by more than 250 participants, it brought together researchers as well as representatives from the United Nations (UN) to focus on the relationship between the UN, on the one hand, and cooperation among member states in the Global South, on the other.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Sven Grimm underlined the importance of multilateralism for the global common good. Together with the RIS Director General, Prof. Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, he stressed the relevance of partnerships – such as the one between RIS and DIE – for enabling a global debate about international cooperation among a broad range of stakeholders.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in turn, pleaded for the strengthening of Southern UN member states, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasised that increasing levels of cooperation among developing countries did not erase the responsibility of rich member states from the Global North to provide support.

As part of the panel on the UN development system, Sebastian Haug presented ongoing research on how UN funds, programmes and specialised agencies have integrated South-South and triangular cooperation in their institutional procedures. He highlighted both the heterogeneity of UN efforts as well as geopolitical dynamics that have conditioned the support for South-South processes.

Dr. Silke Weinlich chaired that panel and underlined that strengthening South-South cooperation was not only relevant for Southern member states but also provided a key contribution to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She urged that all available cooperation formats needed to be part of concerted efforts towards reaching the SDGs, also and particularly in the context of the Covid pandemic.

The online event was organised in cooperation with the Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST) and the Managing Global Governance (MGG) network. Against the backdrop of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, it offered panellists and participants the opportunity to take stock and, at the same time, was part of a series of events preparing an international conference on South-South cooperation that is set to take place in Delhi later this year.

A complete recording of the event is available here: