United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

ILO Deputy-Director General Gilbert Houngbo: "South-South Cooperation offers real, concrete solutions to development challenges"

Statement | 12 September 2014
Gilbert Houngbo, ILO Deputy-Director General for field operations and parterships
Celebrated since 1978, the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation commemorates the United Nations Plan of Action to promote and implement technical cooperation among developing countries. This day is also reaffirmed during yearly Global South-South Development Expos.

The ILO has been a key international player in presenting good practices and solutions from the Global South, but also from traditional partners, through the triangular cooperation modality.

As we approach the 2015 deadline of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and look toward the emerging Sustainable Development Goals, one of the most enduring UN system-wide partnerships has been with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, building concrete technical cooperation projects targeting the sharing of good practices.

The ILO, with its tripartite nature – comprised of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations – is an effective platform for South-South Cooperation between social actors while encouraging good governance, advancing social protection and encouraging solidarity for economic progress.

South-South Cooperation offers real, concrete solutions to development challenges, including the promotion of decent work for all, sharing good practices, promoting pilot projects, providing seed human capital, encouraging emerging partners to engage in technical cooperation, as well as adapting appropriate technologies.

The ILO Governing Body adopted in 2012 a strategy for South–South Cooperation, galvanizing concrete efforts in engaging partners, while promoting projects in the fields of combating child labour and forced labour, promoting youth employment, environmental sustainability and social protection for all.

With 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty in our world, creating quality decent jobs and reducing inequality are top priorities. South-south and triangular cooperation is yielding some of the most innovative solutions to eradicate poverty.