UNESCO actively participated in the Global South-South Development Expo 2017, held from 27-30 November in Antalya, Turkey. The Expo provided a powerful platform for UNESCO to showcase Southern development solutions, celebrate South-South and triangular cooperation success, share knowledge and lessons learned, explore new avenues for collaboration, and initiate new partnership efforts.
The UNESCO delegation was led by Mohamed Djelid, Deputy Director for Strategic Planning. During the Expo, Mr Djelid participated in the Leadership Round Table on South-South Cooperation for People and Planet: Youth Empowerment and Launch of a Youth Leadership Initiative, held on 28 November. During the event, he highlighted UNESCO’s work to engage young people as agents of change through South-South and Triangular Cooperation, including through the UNESCO Youth Forum, the #Unite4Heritage campaign and the NetMed Youth project. Mr Djelid noted that “A key priority for understanding and promoting youth empowerment is grasping the specific cultural and socio-economic realities of young women and men and adapting our approaches accordingly.”
Romain Murenzi, Director of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), moderated the Thematic Solution Forum 1 on leveraging the power of Science, Technology and Innovation for Development through South-South and Triangular Cooperation, held on 27 November. Mr Murenzi stressed the importance of STI for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and highlighted UNESCO’s work to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation through knowledge sharing tools like the UNESCO Science Report, its GO-SPIN Programme and its specialized STI centres and institutes of expertise, including TWAS.
Clare Stark, UNESCO’s South-South Cooperation focal point, showcased UNESCO’s successful South-South cooperation examples for the implementation of the SDGs during the Thematic Solution Forum on this issue, held on 28 November. She also participated in the UN Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on South-South and Triangular Cooperation on 29 November, and the High-level Round Table on City Experiences in South-South Cooperation in Tourism for Sustainable Development on 30 November.
UNESCO had a booth at the Expo, run by young volunteers, where additional information was provided about its work to promote South-South and triangular cooperation in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information.
On the margins of the Expo, a number of bilateral meetings were held to deepen UNESCO’s partnerships in this area. This included bi-lateral meetings with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation, Mr Jorge Chediek, and Dr. Orkun HASEKİOĞLU, Vice President of Tubitak, who is a member of the Governing Council of the newly established Least Developed Countries (LDC) Technology Bank hosted by Turkey.
In terms of outcomes, UNESCO and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) agreed to explore opportunities for partnering on a high-level South-South Cooperation event as a key contribution to the preparation of the Second UN High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), to be held in Buenos Aires in March 2019. They also discussed developing and launching a publication on UNESCO’s work to promote South-South and triangular cooperation, with support from UNOSSC. UNESCO and Tubitak discussed partnership opportunities to further solidify UNESCO’s cooperation with the LDC technology bank, particularly in terms of supporting the LDCs in preparing their STI policy reviews and providing capacity building in this area.