Jorge Chediek, the UN secretary-general's envoy on South-South cooperation, speaks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency in New York, the United States, March 3, 2017. The UN office in charge of promoting South-South cooperation is seeking a stronger partnership with developing countries, including China, to share successful stories in the South countries' efforts for sustainable development, and one of the key vehicles is the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo), Jorge Chediek told Xinhua in a recent interview. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
by Xinhua Writer Gu Zhenqiu
UNITED NATIONS, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The UN office in charge of promoting South-South cooperation is seeking a stronger partnership with developing countries, including China, a senior UN official told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Jorge Chediek, the UN secretary-general's envoy on South-South cooperation, said that the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), which he heads, are discussing with several countries which showed interest in hosting the Expo.
"We look forward to developing strong partnerships with countries like the People's Republic of China that have become an example for the world" to share successful stories in the South countries' efforts for sustainable development, he added.
The Expo was established in 2008 as a forum for countries of the South and international organizations to showcase what they are doing in promoting South-South cooperation, Chediek said.
"South-South cooperation is the cooperation among developing countries, which have in the last few years developed a lot of resources and a lot of solutions, that are particularly relevant to other countries," he said.
The GSSD Expo is designed to promote evidence-based successful development solutions and initiatives created by countries from the global South to address development challenges.
It provides a powerful platform for development actors from various backgrounds to showcase their development solutions, celebrate successes, disseminate information, share knowledge and lessons learned, explore new avenues for collaboration and initiate new partnership efforts.
It facilitates the sharing and exchange of scalable, replicable and innovative Southern solutions and initiatives that have significant development impact on the ground.
Solutions will therefore not be presented as universal models but as references for voluntary learning, with the common aim of scaling up their development impact.
"So far, we have had eight editions of the Expo in different countries," such as the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Kenya, and the last one took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate, in 2016, he noted.
The first GSSD Expo was launched in the U.S. city of New York in December 2008, and previous hosts also include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Each edition of the Expo has a theme, and the previous themes cover enhancing innovations towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; building inclusive green economies; global partnership compact for South-South cooperation for development; human development and social protection; Southern development solutions to global food security, energy and climate change challenges, among others.
"Over the last few years, we have attracted over 6,000 development experts and practitioners, and several hundreds of development solutions have been exchanged, and many partnerships have been established," he said.
In addition, the eight Expos have more than 150 countries connected, more than 620 tested solutions showcased and unveiled 16 South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives launched.
"The Expo has generated a lot of answers and a lot of good progress for the people of the countries of South," he said.
The GSSD Expo, as the one and only UN system-wide and global platform for systematic showcasing of development solutions at national, regional and global levels, was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in the Nairobi Outcome Document adopted at the last High-Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009.
Chediek, who is from Argentina, was appointed as the UN secretary-general's envoy on South-South cooperation. Since October 2015, he has been the director of UNOSSC leading United Nations system-wide promotion and coordination of South-South cooperation for development. Prior to this, he served as the UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua and other countries, as well as the director of UNDP international policy center for inclusive growth.
Chediek said that UNOSSC has the mandate to promote South-South cooperation within the United Nations system and beyond.
"My office is organizer of the event in the partnership with the host countries and host organizations. We basically put the programs together and mobilized the participants to engage in this event that will become a yearly highlight of South-South cooperation worldwide," he said.