ILO Statement to the Second Committee of the 66th General Assembly

South-South cooperation critical for sustainable development

The global South is increasingly home to many successful examples of innovative technologies and other sustainable solutions to development challenges.

Statement | New York | 12 October 2011
Mr. Chair,

The Secretary General’s report on the State of South-South Cooperation (A/66/229) provides a useful synopsis of the state of South South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), highlighting a number of development activities undertaken across the global South in recent years as well as examples of enhanced support provided by the UN system. Guided by the outcomes of major UN conferences and summits, the ILO has been working to meet Member States’ expectations regarding support on SSTC and strengthening its role as a bridge in sharing decent work experiences to overcome development challenges.

Since the 1970s, the ILO has been successful in forging a number of partnerships on SSTC. To date, exchanges have been facilitated on the implementation of social protection floors and employment programmes; policies to combat child labour; knowledge sharing platforms for skills development; capacity building in the port and tourism sectors in Central America; and labour migration.

The ILO was pleased to host the 2010 Global South South Development Expo, which provided an important platform to showcase successful best practices and develop partnerships. During the Expo, a partnership was forged between the ILO and IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) through a joint Declaration of Intent on SSTC in the field of decent work. The initiative builds on previous commitments made by each of these countries to promote cooperation as an important tool for achieving social and economic development.

During the LDV IV Conference held in Istanbul, the ILO launched together with UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, a joint project entitled “South-South and Triangular Cooperation for the Implementation of Gender Sensitive Social Protection Floors at Country Level”. The project aims at facilitating the cooperation between countries that have acquired expertise in areas of the Social Protection Floor together with LDC countries that are currently seeking assistance to overcome a particular challenge to reform, design or implement their social protection policies.

In an effort to systematize South South exchanges within the organization and encourage partnerships, the ILO has developed a strategy for SSTC, which is guided by the 2007 UN Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review, the Nairobi Outcome Document and the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. The strategy is outcome based, focusing on three priority areas: institutional support to better map ILO SSTC and capacity building so staff are trained to proactively detect new opportunities; mobilizing resources for technical cooperation and partnership building with other international organizations and UN agencies; and strengthening support and capacity building of ILO constituents for SSTC.

Mr. Chair,

The ILO has a long history of supporting and promoting SSTC in line with the Decent Work Agenda. Based on this experience, it is recognized that the South is increasingly home to many successful examples of innovative technologies and other sustainable solutions to development challenges. It is critical that the development community continues to utilize SSTC to support efforts towards poverty eradication, employment creation, sustainable development and integration of the global South into the international economy. The ILO is committed to fostering greater solidarity and enhancing programme effectiveness among countries and people in the world of work by helping to scale-up opportunities for such initiatives. We stand ready to assist our constituents and welcome opportunities for further cooperation and collaboration from all partners in sharing and promoting decent work solutions.

I thank you.