UNESCO: South-South & Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner


After two World Wars in less than thirty years, UNESCO was born with a clear vision: to achieve lasting peace, economic and political agreements among states are not enough. It brings people together through mutual understanding and dialogue between cultures.

Over the years, UNESCO has launched pioneering programmes to achieve this. From the very beginning, UNESCO denounced racism and mobilized philosophers, artists, the brightest minds from every nation, to develop innovative projects that changed how we see the world: The Universal Copyright Convention, Biosphere Reserves, World Heritage and Intangible Heritage.

UNESCO gave rise to global centers of scientific research, from CERN to SESAME, developed tsunami early warning systems, wrote the general history of Africa and all five continents, and carried out literacy campaigns from Italy to the Republic of Korea and in Afghanistan.

UNESCO established universal principles for scientific ethics and the human genome, and protected the best that humanity has to offer:
The temples of ancient Egypt were saved from rising waters; The treasures of Venice and Angkor; The old Bridge of Mostar was rebuilt after the war; the Old City of Mosul was revived as a symbol of peace

Today, UNESCO is still innovating, piloting global reflections on the futures of education in a post-COVID world. We are establishing common standards on open science and the ethics of artificial intelligence. We are developing new tools to fight new forms of racism and hate speech and building a more sustainable relationship between humans and the environment.

South-South and Triangular Cooperation at UNESCO

UNESCO seeks to forge equal partnerships between countries, in particular by strengthening technical cooperation between developing countries and attracting funding from new and emerging donors. It cooperates with the Member States, civil society, and the academic world and promotes public-private partnerships in education.

UNESCO’s pivotal functions in this role include providing a common platform for engagement through international and regional fora, acting as a clearing house to share good practices in education, building networks and communities of practice and rewarding innovative and outstanding projects through prizes. Click here to learn more.

UNESCO contributes to the implementation of the UN system-wide strategy on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development. South-South and Triangular cooperation is a key modality for implementing all of its programmes in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information and its specific action in this area is reflected in its Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2029 (41 C/4) and its Programme and Budget for 2022-2025 (41 C/5). SSTC is also incorporated into UNESCO’s country and regional strategies and into its partnership frameworks.

UNESCO is also promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation through its specialized category 1 and 2 institutes and centres, such as the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC) and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries and its numerous networks.

UNESCO at the 2022 Global South-South Development Expo

UNESCO will be participating in the Global South-South Development Expo in Bangkok, Thailand from 12-14 September 2022 and is planning a high-level event on “Accelerating the Learning Recovery and Transforming Education in Southeast Asia through Multistakeholder Partnerships (SDG 4)”, with its partners – the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Education Commission of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). The event will also serve as an important contribution to the Transforming Education Summit.

UNESCO will also showcase its activities through a virtual side event at the Expo. UNESCO Virtual booth at the Expo was launched on 20 June 2022. To visit the Virtual booth, please click here.

More Initiatives on South-South Cooperation

UNESCO/EU programme on Strengthening Cultural and Creative Industries

This technical assistance programme aims to support countries of the Global South to: 1. Design, adapt and/or implement regulatory frameworks for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs); 2. Strengthen skills and capacities to support long-term cultural policy development and implementation that supports the CCIs; and 3. Create peer-to-peer mechanisms to strengthen institutional capacities for the CCIs and facilitate South-South cooperation.

The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science (TWAS): the voice for science in the South

The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries, known worldwide by its acronym, TWAS, supports sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy. TWAS has 1,296 elected fellows — representing more than 100 countries; 11 of them are Nobel laureates. About 84 percent come from developing nations, and the rest are scientists from the developed world whose work has had a significant impact on the South.

Promoting the Professionalization of Teaching in Asia-Pacific and Africa through the Development and Operationalization of National Teacher Competencies and Teaching Standards Frameworks

The project is funded by the Shanghai Municipal Government of the People’s Republic of China, and its purpose is to develop regional ‘Technical Guidance for Developing and Operationalizing National Teacher Competencies and Teaching Standards Frameworks’ and use them as entry points and tools to inform and improve teacher policy and teacher training in the two regions.

South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Tourism in Mexico

In cooperation with UNESCO Mexico and MWHCA, the UNOSSC Cities Project launched this initiative to enhance the capacities of local authorities, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and communities for achieving sustainable growth and recovery of the tourism sector and exchange practices through South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC).

Featured Publications


  Clare Stark, c.stark@unesco.org
UN Coordination Officer and UNESCO Focal Point for South-South and Triangular Cooperation