Gina Casar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme, declared in her speech on the opening day that south-south and triangular cooperation offer a path to balancing growth and equity in the context of a "new collaborative global partnership for sustainable development" where all stakeholders stand “shoulder-to-shoulder in their political, social and environmental development efforts.”
Several Memoranda of Understanding in the area of south-south cooperation were also sealed at the week-long event. For example, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Gambia and a Chinese enterprise, Henan Qingshuiyuan Technology, agreed to cooperate in the area of wastewater treatment, while the Organization of American States and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed an MoU to collaborate on fostering respect for environmental laws and sustainable development.
Yiping Zhou , envoy of the UN Secretary General and Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation said the annual Global UN South-South Development Expo is proving effective in bringing together development organizations from all sectors to establish inclusive and innovative partnerships, south-south, north-south, triangular and public/private so that the impact of successful development solutions can be scaled up.
"Since its inception in 2008, the Global UN Development Expo has featured documented best practices from hundreds of partner countries, UN agencies, private-sector enterprises and civil-society organizations”, said Zhou. “To effectively build on this broad global partnership, the eight thematic areas of this year’s GSSD Expo 2014 at the Organization for American States (OAS) addressed sustainable development with a particular focus on poverty eradication, food Security and public/private partnerships."
Examples of showcased solutions
The Yasuni-ITT Initiative, presents an innovative model to fight climate change, while simultaneously protecting one of the world’s richest areas in biodiversity, as well as the rights and livelihoods of the indigenous people who depend on it.
India’s IMPEX’s SUNLITE off-grid solar lighting initiative’s goal is to improve the lives of over one million refugees, disaster victims, and impoverished populations through the provision of solar lanterns. The aim is to supply over 300,000 such lanterns by the year 2015.
The China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) and the Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute (GNERI) are sharing with Kenya solar energy equipment engineered in China. As a result, to date 50 solar photovoltaic demonstration systems have been produced, as well as 100 solar water heating systems, and 100 solar cooker systems, all suitable for the conditions of remote villages.
Through Sister Cities International Sino-African Initiative a trilateral partnership between Nairobi, Kenya; Denver, USA; and Kunming, China on the Madaraka Primary School Project in Nairobi recently tackled water and sanitation issues faced by students. The project has affected the lives of teachers and students. 378 teachers and 18 teachers now have access to safe water and toilet facilities. 30 new students have enrolled at the school. The Nairobi Department of Education is discussing policy changes based on these results.
The “Programme for South-South Cooperation on Sustainable Development (PSC)” between Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica, with initial seed-money from the Government of the Netherlands. Through the 36 sustainable development projects implemented, global thinking has been translated into local performance by the people of three countries on three different continents: 26,700 direct beneficiaries; 477 communities have benefited; 1,533 indigenous people have been trained; 3,124 farmers have converted to organic production; 1,160 women have been involved in decision making.