World Leaders Adopt Outcome Document Urging Greater South-South Cooperation to Achieve Sustainable Development, as Buenos Aires Conference Concludes
Enhanced Collaboration Crucial to Address Changing Geopolitical Landscape, Resource Constraints, Delegates Stress
United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, 5th Meeting (AM)
BUENOS AIRES, 22 March — Concluding a landmark conference on the crucial role of South-South cooperation in the planet’s sustainable development, representatives of 160 countries today adopted a sweeping outcome document calling for stepped-up collaboration against the backdrop of resource constraints and a shifting geopolitical landscape.
By the terms of the “Buenos Aires outcome document of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation”, heads of delegations and other officials — gathered on the third and final day of the Conference, also known as “BAPA+40” — cited significant changes in international politics and economic relations, which create conditions conducive to promoting South-South cooperation, pursuing sustained economic growth and building national and collective self-reliance. They noted that, while North-South cooperation remains the main modality for development cooperation, recent decades have seen South-South cooperation expand its scope, facilitate regional integration and provide innovative approaches for collective action.
Acknowledging that developing countries continue to face serious challenges, as well as new and emerging ones, participants recognized the need to enhance capacity-building in developing countries through enhanced resources and expertise, at those countries’ request. In that regard, they renewed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, reaffirmed the General Assembly resolution endorsing the 1978 Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and welcomed other international agreements.
Noting with concern increases in debt levels around the world, participants called on borrowers and creditors to address challenges linked to debt sustainability as a matter of priority, in order to prevent a negative impact on long-term development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They also recognized that the shortage of resources continues to hinder the expansion of South-South and triangular cooperation, and underscored the need to further mobilize resources from all sources — public, private, domestic and international.
By other terms of the outcome document, participants recognized that South-South cooperation should not be seen as official development assistance (ODA) and stressed that it is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation. They further acknowledged the need to enhance the development effectiveness of South-South and triangular cooperation, while acknowledging its voluntary, participative and demand-driven nature.
Participants further called on both developed and developing countries, and all relevant stakeholders, to promote South-South and triangular cooperation policies and activities, and ensure a more holistic and coherent approach to sustainable development. They also called upon multilateral, regional and bilateral financial and development institutions to consider increasing financial resources and technical cooperation for those purposes, while stressing the need to reinvigorate the United Nations role within existing resources and with the approval of respective Governments…