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G77 Ministerial Meeting to Stress South-South Cooperation

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 30 2016 (IPS) - When the 40th annual ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 takes place on September 23, one of the underlying themes will be the importance of South-South cooperation in the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A concept paper – on “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for Sustainable Development Goals” – circulated in advance of the meeting says governments must coordinate with a broad spectrum of actors, such as local governments, civil society organizations, academia, international organizations and private sector to facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of all the goals and targets mobilizing all available resources.

Stressing the importance of South-South cooperation, the paper points out that the SDG target 17.9 stipulates an enhanced international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all sustainable development goals, including through North-South cooperation and the complementary role of South-South and triangular cooperation.

“Given similarities among developing countries in term of levels of development, cultural background and challenges, developing countries can benefit from sharing knowledge, technical knowhow and experiences from their development models and philosophies, which can be more cost-effective and adaptable to their development contexts.”

To this end, sharing of knowledge, technical knowhow and experiences of the South should be “promoted through formal institutional knowledge management.

The paper sums up the three inter-related objectives:

First, strengthen South–South cooperation and global partnerships for sustainable development through experiences-sharing and lessons-learnt from developing countries, including Thailand’s practical approach to sustainable development through Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP);

Second, offer G-77 high-level representatives opportunity to enhance their commitment on partnership for sustainable development and explore ways to expand cooperation within G-77 member countries and beyond; and

Third, enhance networking among developing countries for future collaboration.

The agenda for the ministerial meeting calls for an exchange of views on issues of importance to the Group during the upcoming 71st session of the UN General Assembly beginning September 13.

A ministerial declaration – spelling out the Group’s collective views on the socio-economic issues on the UN agenda – will be adopted at the conclusion of the meeting which will take place in the ECOSOC chamber on September 23.

The ministers are also expected to elect the new chair of the G77 for 2017 from the Latin American and Caribbean region.

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