Ministerial Meeting on South-South Cooperation at LDC5, 7 March 2023

Feb 23, 2023 | Events

Renewed partnerships for actionable solutions in support of implementation of the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (DPoA)

  • When: Tuesday, 7 March 2023 – 9AM – 12PM
  • Where: Exhibition Hall 2, Qatar National Convention Centre Doha, Qatar

On 7 March 2023, as part of the Fifth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5), a Ministerial Meeting on South-South Cooperation will be held with an aim to explore concrete, innovative and actionable solutions in support of the deliverables of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) through multi-stakeholder participation of the global South and traditional development partners. The meeting is organized by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), the State of Qatar (host country) and the Government of Malawi (Chair of LDCs), in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

Background

More than ever before, LDCs are in dire need of enhanced, targeted, and tailored support from the global community and all partners in order to achieve a quick recovery from the pandemic, put them back on SDGs track, and build resilience against future shocks.

The Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) adopted in March 2022 represents a new generation of global partnerships built on renewed and strengthened commitments by LDCs and their development partners to achieve recovery from the pandemic, build resilience and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The DPoA particularly calls for scaled-up and ambitious means of implementation forging widest possible coalition of multi-stakeholder partnerships. The DPoA contains six key focus areas with a set of ambitious goals and targets for LDCs to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. The key deliverables in the DPoA include a new system of stockholding to address food insecurity, an online university, an international investment support centre, a resilience building mechanism and a sustainable graduation support facility.

The implementation of the DPoA coincides with the remaining decade of the SDGs. During this crucial decade, it is imperative for LDCs to harness the potentials of South–South and triangular cooperation to accelerate progress towards the SDGs including digital leapfrogging. Actionable solutions and new and innovative ways to boost South-South and triangular cooperation are also of vital significance to unlock the immense potential of LDCs in this Decade of Action.

LDCs have always been marginalized in global trade. They need stronger support through the Aid for Trade initiative to help them address their supply-side constraints and enhance their competitiveness in the global economy. They also need broad capacity development efforts to improve the quality of their institutions and their ability to harness existing support, particularly in areas related to non-tariff measures (NTMs), digital trade and trade in services. LDCs can learn from their Southern partners on how to move away from low value-added natural resources and low-technology products to higher value-added and higher-technology products, effectively integrating into global value chains. Regional integration including enhanced South-South and triangular cooperation can facilitate LDCs integration in the global trading system.

LDCs are often unable to benefit from the economic and social benefits related to technological development. They are critically lacking technological know-how including access to digital technologies and innovation to build back stronger and more resilient. South-South cooperation can tailor to the expressed needs of LDCs for digital transformation by harnessing the ICT to narrow the digital divide and fast-track sustainable development.

LDCs are facing a pressing need to improve education systems, develop digital and entrepreneurial skills and enhance human development in light of the size of the young population. To implement the DPoA, development partners can provide concrete support to LDCs through investment and provision of education for youth, especially young women, including access to digital learning and skills development. This includes tangible support to the proposed online university for graduate and post-graduate study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in LDCs. South-South cooperation with academic and research institutions, think tanks etc. could play an important role in leveraging the high quality university education in countries of the Global South.

Furthermore, women and girls in LDCs continue to face barriers, such as lack of access to inclusive and quality education and digital skills, to health-care services, including sexual and reproductive health-care services, and to social protection and decent work and opportunities in the labour market, They have also been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including in terms of loss of jobs, income and livelihoods. Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through South-South and triangular cooperation will be crucial in the successful implementation of the DoPA.

Climate change induced natural disasters, disruption of supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts and geopolitical tensions have pushed additional millions of people in LDCs into extreme poverty. South-South cooperation is an important means to help LDCs achieve food security through knowledge sharing, transfer of adaptable agricultural technologies, in-kind support and regional collaboration.

As the most vulnerable group of countries, LDCs are bearing a heavy brunt of climate change. The Global South can share knowledge including adaptation technologies and resources and experience to help LDCs develop coping strategies and build resilience against future shocks.

The implementation of the Sustainable Graduation Support Facility is one of the deliverables of the DPoA. It has a particular focus on facilitating South-South cooperation, dialogue and sharing country as well as region-specific knowledge and experience.

The LDC5 Conference presents an opportunity for LDCs and their development partners and all other actors to reinvigorate partnerships and mobilize concrete support measures, actions and innovative solutions to accelerate implementation of the DPoA.

The effective and full implementation of the DPoA plays a key role in the success and achievement of the 2030 Agenda. While implementation of the DPoA requires the ownership and leadership of LDCs, LDCs also need their partners and other actors to integrate the DPoA into their respective national cooperation policy frameworks, programmes and activities. In order to fulfil the promise of leaving no one behind, the implementation of the DPoA must be a collective endeavor of LDCs and their development partners and all other actors. South-South and triangular cooperation is part and parcel of the reinvigorated global partnerships in support of implementation of the DPoA.

Objective

The Ministerial Meeting on South-South Cooperation – “Renewed partnerships for actionable solutions in support of implementation of the DPoA” is aimed to forge new partnerships, and explore concrete, innovative and actionable solutions in support of the deliverables of the DPoA through multi-stakeholder participation of the global South and development partners. The Meeting is organized by OHRLLS, the State of Qatar (host country) and Malawi (Chair of LDCs) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.

Participants

This meeting will draw participation of ministers from LDCs as well as countries from the global South, development partners, principal-level representatives from the UN system, multilateral and regional development banks and financial institutions, the private sector and NGOs. Interpretation in Arabic, English and French will be provided.

Programme

  1. Opening segment
  2. Setting the scene: moderated fireside chat on how to reinvigorate SouthSouth and triangular co-operation for actionable solutions in support of implementation of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA)
  3. Panel discussions: accelerating South-South and triangular and cooperation to recover from the impacts of the ongoing crises, build resilience and accelerate the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA)
  4. Closing