Annual gathering brought together 174 Government bodies, presenting more than 70 homegrown poverty-fighting initiatives at Organization for American States
Washington, DC: 25 November 2014 – Nearly 700 participants from 174 government agencies/Institutions, permanent missions and embassies joined 24 UN System partners, 71 private sector representatives, 180 non-governmental organizations and several academic institutions at this year’s United Nations Global South-South Development Expo (GSSDE).
The 2014 event stressed the role of public, private partnerships in financing development projects, as well as in the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.  It also highlighted the significant role played by the collaborative frameworks of south-south cooperation in disaster responses, highlighting the positive response to the Ebola crisis provided by effected countries through the provision of humanitarian corridors, deployment of healthcare workers, sharing of best practices and enhancing of public health capacities.
Gina Casar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme, declared in her speech on the opening day that south-south and triangular cooperation offer a path to balancing growth and equity in the context of a “new collaborative global partnership for sustainable development” where all stakeholders stand “shoulder-to-shoulder in their political, social and environmental development efforts.”
Several Memoranda of Understanding in the area of south-south cooperation were also sealed at the week-long event. For example, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Gambia and a Chinese enterprise, Henan Qingshuiyuan Technology, agreed to cooperate in the area of wastewater treatment, while the Organization of American States and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed an MoU to collaborate on fostering respect for environmental laws and sustainable development.
Yiping Zhou , envoy of the UN Secretary General and Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation said the annual Global UN South-South Development Expo is proving effective in bringing together development organizations from all sectors to establish inclusive and innovative partnerships, south-south, north-south, triangular and public/private so that the impact of successful development solutions can be scaled up.
“Since its inception in 2008, the Global UN Development Expo has featured documented best practices from hundreds of partner countries, UN agencies, private-sector enterprises and civil-society organizations”, said Zhou. “To effectively build on this broad global partnership, the eight thematic areas of this year’s GSSD Expo 2014 at the Organization for American States (OAS) addressed sustainable development with a particular focus on poverty eradication, food Security and public/private partnerships.”
About the Expo: The GSSD Expo is a multilateral annual event that identifies and showcases development solutions “from the South to the South”.  It is organized by the United Nations Office for South-South cooperation (UNOSSC) to share development successes, to explore new avenues for collaboration, to forge innovative/inclusive partnerships, and to launch concrete collaborative schemes that reduce and eventually eliminate the deep differences in human development between the developed and developing worlds (i.e. the “North” and the “South).
So far, seven GSSD Expos have been successfully organized with the generous hosting of UN partners and other multilateral organizations: by UNDP in New York (2008), the World Bank in Washington, D.C. (2009), the ILO in Rome (2011), UNIDO in Vienna (2012), by UNEP in Nairobi (2013), and this year in Washington, DC by the Organization for American States.
Examples of showcased solutions
Brazil and Mozambique’s cooperation in the “Biofuels Productions – FGV Foundation” agreement has resulted in the study and sustainable exploitation of agricultural potential in 12 countries in the Tropical Belt, 6 of which are located in Africa: Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mozambique, Senegal and Zambia. Thus far, this South-South initiative has planted millions of hectares of biomass for ethanol and biodiesel production; 100,000 jobs have already been created in the first phase; youth have received leadership and management training; dependence on fossil fuel has been reduced by 10 per cent of total consumption; electricity has been distributed to remote communities; and the beneficiary population is currently approximately 1 million people.
The Yasuni-ITT Initiative, presents an innovative model to fight climate change, while simultaneously protecting one of the world’s richest areas in biodiversity, as well as the rights and livelihoods of the indigenous people who depend on it.
India’s IMPEX’s SUNLITE off-grid solar lighting initiative’s goal is to improve the lives of over one million refugees, disaster victims, and impoverished populations through the provision of solar lanterns. The aim is to supply over 300,000 such lanterns by the year 2015.
The China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) and the Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute (GNERI) are sharing with Kenya solar energy equipment engineered in China. As a result, to date 50 solar photovoltaic demonstration systems have been produced, as well as 100 solar water heating systems, and 100 solar cooker systems, all suitable for the conditions of remote villages.
Through Sister Cities International Sino-African Initiative a trilateral partnership between Nairobi, Kenya; Denver, USA; and Kunming, China on the Madaraka Primary School Project in Nairobi recently tackled water and sanitation issues faced by students. The project has affected the lives of teachers and students. 378 teachers and 18 teachers now have access to safe water and toilet facilities. 30 new students have enrolled at the school. The Nairobi Department of Education is discussing policy changes based on these results.
The “Programme for South-South Cooperation on Sustainable Development (PSC)” between Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica, with initial seed-money from the Government of the Netherlands. Through the 36 sustainable development projects implemented, global thinking has been translated into local performance by the people of three countries on three different continents: 26,700 direct beneficiaries; 477 communities have benefited; 1,533 indigenous people have been trained; 3,124 farmers have converted to organic production; 1,160 women have been involved in decision making.

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