A growing form of partnership
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:
- March 2012: the Governing Body endorsed the paper “South–South and triangular cooperation: The way forward”, making the ILO the first UN agency with a dedicated strategy
- November 2012: the Governing Body revised the South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) indicators
- November 2015: the Governing Body discussed the updated “ILO Development Cooperation Strategy 2015–2017”, which further stressed the importance of SSTC and agreed to continue the 2012 strategy.
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.
- the Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (CINTERFOR) in Montevideo was set up by the ILO as an SSC institution for the Americas
- the ILO International Training Centre in Turin (ITC-ILO) serves as a meeting point for tens of thousands of students every year from the Global South
- the Global Labour University (GLU), which is a network of trade unions, universities and the ILO involving partners from the South (India, Brazil, South Africa) and the North (Germany, United States).
- the Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour
- the Africa Facility for promoting South-South and triangular cooperation.
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.
South-South initiatives concerning social protection and the Global Extension of Social Security (GESS)
- Ongoing activities in Cambodia
- Single Window Service Approach (this coordination mechanism, also known as PEOPLE service, will be established in Cambodia)
- “Piloting the People service” in Cambodia
- South-South cooperation on the Global Extension of Social Security
- Direct link to GESS project pages at the Social Protection Floor Gateway
- Togo workshop
- Conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on “South-South exchange on strategies for universal health coverage”
- Summary case studies: India and Thailand - South-South exchange on strategies for universal health coverage