Branislav Gosovic, labored in UNCTAD, UNEP, UNECLAC, World Fee on Surroundings and Improvement, South Fee, and South Centre (1991-2005), and is the writer of the recently-published e-book ‘The South Shaping the Global Future, 6 Decades of the South-North Development Struggle in the UN.’
GENEVA, Dec 21 2018 (IPS) – The upcoming convention on the Buenos Aires Plan of Motion (BAPA+40), scheduled to happen within the Argentine capital on 20-22 March 2019, ought to be extra than simply one other UN convention the place the creating nations assemble to current their calls for and search help from the North.
Additionally, it should not end up to be a replay of the 2009 1st UN Excessive-level Convention on South-South Cooperation*, i.e. an anodyne occasion when it comes to influence and follow-up, although such a state of affairs could also be most popular by some, danger of which exists because the 2019 gathering can also be scheduled to final solely three days, not sufficient time for real deliberations and negotiations.
Subsequently, it’s up to the creating nations to construct up BAPA+40 into a serious international occasion.
a. South-South cooperation and the United Nations system
One of many key goals of the International South at BAPA+40 must be to place South-South cooperation on the very centre of the UN system of multilateral cooperation.
The UN system wants to acknowledge the range and broad spectrum that SSC subsumes, to resist the bounds being imposed on SSC and it being distanced and reduce off from its unique institutional and political roots and aspirations.
The United Nations ought to introduce clear and particular measures and programmes, vital human and monetary assets, and mandates by “mainstreaming” and “enhancing support” for SSC in each group and company of the UN system, to have them incorporate the wants and aims of South-South cooperation.
It wants additionally to be reiterated that South-South cooperation shouldn’t be an alternative to North-South improvement cooperation, however a parallel and new sphere of multilateral cooperation that opens new and promising alternatives, stimulates North-South cooperation, and supplies various and progressive approaches in improvement cooperation.
Within the fold of the UN, a big, but very restricted step to mainstream South-South Cooperation has been taken by upgrading the UNDP Particular Unit for TCDC first right into a Particular Unit for South-South Cooperation after which into the UN Workplace for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
This can’t and shouldn’t be the end-station, however wants to be adopted up ambitiously and critically on the international degree, by appointment of a UN Secretary-Common’s excessive degree consultant who would offer political imaginative and prescient for South-South cooperation and the institution of a UN specialised entity inside the UNDP platform or within the UN Improvement System (UNDS) within the making, whose mission can be to promote South-South cooperation, as advisable by the Group of 77 Ministerial Assembly.
Any such entity would wish to have its personal intergovernmental equipment, a serious capital improvement fund for South-South tasks, and absolutely staffed substantive secretariat outfitted to carry out various essential features, together with initiating and funding tasks, enterprise analysis, sustaining a knowledge base on SSC and a listing of nationwide actors concerned in SSC, and publishing a daily, periodic UN report on South-South Cooperation referred to as for by G77 Summits.
A suggestion has been floated to think about entrusting this process to UNCTAD, provided that its mandate regarding North-South points has been eroded and its position marginalized.
Such a central entity for SSC would wish to be backed, on the regional degree, by significantly strengthened and invigorated UN regional financial commissions within the South.
These Commissions are the principal UN our bodies based mostly in and with a full information of their respective areas. Their key mission ought to be the promotion of South-South cooperation or “horizontal cooperation”, as historically referred to in Latin America.
The proposed construction, drawing additionally on UN specialised businesses of their areas of competence, would have as one in every of its duties to help and energize sub-regional, regional and inter-regional South-South cooperation.
Common, high-level UN conferences on South-South cooperation would wish to be convened, and a consolidated and common substantive, analytical and statistical UN report on the state of South-South cooperation will want to be ready.
b. International South and South-South cooperation
Given the general international context, the creating nations can’t rely solely on the United Nations, even when and when the instructed institutional enhancements are accredited and turn out to be operational.
South-South cooperation is a chance for the International South to contribute to attaining a variety of excellent objectives and aspirations and be a car for reshaping the worldwide system.
For this to occur, nevertheless, what is required on the a part of the creating nations is tough work, mobilization of assets and of collective energy, main and sustained efforts and dedication/obligation to pursue and attain a collection of goals that want to be recognized and agreed on.
Of their efforts to comply with this recommendation, as well as to many sensible obstacles and issues, the creating nations would additionally encounter opposition and doubts inside their very own ranks, not to point out a frontal or undercover resistance by actors of the North.
This resistance would particularly come from those that would contemplate each main transfer in that path as a possible menace to their very own pursuits and international designs, and would, very probably, take steps, together with inside particular person creating nations, typically with native help and even by way of ”inconvenient” regime and management change, to affect and embroil the collective efforts.
What issues, nevertheless, is that at present the International South has the assets and collective energy to transfer ahead, and that this isn’t a “mission impossible”, as some who’re accustomed to issues and difficulties encountered in South-South cooperation efforts and undertakings and the constructing and administration of joint establishments may level out. There’s little that stands in the best way of:
- • Enterprise a crucial, in-depth evaluate and evaluation of: South-South cooperation, necessary actions and proposals agreed on through the years and their implementation, experiences, public attitudes, efficiency of particular person nations, functioning of joint establishments and mechanisms of cooperation and integration, essential obstacles and shortcomings that decision for motion, together with the all too frequent difficulties or failure to comply with up on essential selections taken on the political degree.
- • Focussing on how to resolve the difficulty of lack of satisfactory financing for South-South cooperation, actions, tasks and establishments, in all probability one of the critical sensible obstacles standing in the best way of SSC being put into apply as desired and referred to as for.
• Inspiring, informing about and involving within the South-South cooperation undertaking the general public and people; with this in thoughts, making use of capacity-building and coaching to increase the notice of the prevailing experiences and alternatives; utilizing to this finish additionally instructional, advertising, media and public relations approaches, that are so widespread in modern society and are used not solely to promote and publicize items and providers, but in addition political and social objectives and causes, on this case the widespread id of the South as an entity.
• Establishing a South group for South-South cooperation, and pooling collectively and networking mental and analytical assets out there within the South and internationally to employees and help the work of that establishment.
• Putting on the agenda the problem of mental self-empowerment of the International South and the harnessing of its mental assets and establishments into an interactive community for help of widespread objectives and collective actions.
• Evolving, on the highest degree, a consultant system of political authority (e.g., heads of state or authorities, one delegated from every area) for normal and advert hoc communication, consultations and contacts, for conferences to assess progress within the implementation of agreed SSC objectives, and for communication/interplay with all heads of state and/or authorities within the International South.
• Based mostly on the workings and expertise of the South Fee, of the now defunct UN Committee on Improvement Planning and of the G77 Excessive-Degree Panel of Eminent Personalities of the South, to think about establishing a everlasting South-South fee or committee to convey collectively, regularly, high-stature personalities and thinkers from the South to mirror and deliberate on challenges confronted by the creating nations and by the worldwide group.
• Elaborating and agreeing on a blueprint for nationwide self-empowerment for South-South cooperation, to information and be used as a reference by the person creating nations consistent with their very own traits and capacities, and reworking this blueprint right into a authorized instrument binding for all creating nations.
• Nurturing, coaching and educating future cadres and leaders for South-South cooperation, instantly exposing them to and familiarizing them with totally different issues and totally different areas of the South, and, when they’re prepared, deploying them in nationwide, sub-regional, regional and multilateral, together with UN, settings.
• Focussing on the position of “digital South-South cooperation” within the promotion and energizing of all types of South-South cooperation, together with nearer contacts, communication, info sharing and interplay, mutual understanding between and among the many peoples and nations of the South, switch of know-how, and schooling and tradition.
• Calling for nearer cooperation between and joint initiatives of G77 and NAM, an necessary pending political and institutional matter on the agenda of the International South.
There’s little new within the above options, which draw on sensible experiences and have been articulated through the years and in several contexts. What they suggest is inside attain, is doable, and would symbolize a serious “leap forward” for South-South cooperation.
What is required at present is agency political will, long-term imaginative and prescient and decided initiative for a gaggle of the South’s nations and leaders to launch such a course of on the specified monitor and, most significantly, maintain it with the required political dedication and monetary and institutional help.
The 2019 Buenos Aires Convention in March subsequent yr is a chance for the South to get up and lift its collective voice, as on the very beginnings of South-South cooperation in Bandung (1955), Belgrade (1961), Geneva (1964) and Algiers (1967).
* This text is a shortened model of the concluding pages of an in depth essay “On the eve of BAPA+40 – South-South Cooperation in today’s geopolitical context”, which was revealed in VESTNIK RUDN. Worldwide Relations, 2018, Quantity 18, Difficulty 03, October 2018, pp. 459-478, the worldwide journal of the Peoples’ Friendship College of Russia (RUDN), previously Patrice Lumumba College, in a particular quantity to mark the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Plan of Motion. (See http://journals.rudn.ru/international-relations/article/view/20098/16398 )
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