South-South and triangular cooperation

A growing form of partnership

  1. ILO gives full support to South-South and triangular cooperation

    The United Nations defines South-South Cooperation (SSC) as “a process whereby two or more developing countries pursue their individual and/or shared national capacity development objectives through exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how, and through regional and inter-regional collective actions, including partnerships involving governments, regional organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector, for their individual and/or mutual benefit within and across regions. South-South cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation”.

    Triangular cooperation refers to South–South cooperation supported by a Northern partner. South–South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) is today a significant modality of development cooperation, based on financial and non-financial exchanges between peers.

    The ILO Governing Body has discussed the topic on several occasions:


    The ILO has placed particular emphasis on SSTC as a vehicle for achieving the Organization’s objectives and as an effective means of capacity development.  SSTC has acted as a catalyst to underpin development cooperation programmes and stimulate new initiatives. The ILO’s tripartite nature, its mandate-driven agenda, and its emphasis on social dialogue distinguishes the ILO within the UN family, and provide it with a unique comparative advantage in promoting and implementing SSTC.

    The ILO has engaged in SSTC for several decades, (see link above). Its Partnerships and Field Support Department (PARDEV) is responsible for this programme, coordinating and facilitating Organization-wide engagement in SSTC in close cooperation with the field offices.

    Some examples:

    In implementing its SSTC Programme the ILO cooperates closely with the UN system, including the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC): several ILO-SSTC projects, or development cooperation projects that include an SSTC dimension have been and are being implemented in cooperation with other UN agencies.
    The ILO has established additional, SSTC-related partnerships with the “Group of 77 and China”, the g7+ group of fragile states, the “South Centre”, the “United Cities and Local Governments” (UCLG), the UN Research Institute on Social Development (UNRISD), and the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNSSE), to name a few.