Johannesburg, November 17-18, 2014
Co-organized by the South-South Steering Committee for Sustainable Development and the International Organization for South-South Cooperation with support from ITU, FAO, and UN Habitat, the High-level Forum on South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in a two-day series of events on November 17-18. The forum, with the theme, “The Role of ICT, Food security and Sustainable Urbanization in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” helped draw attention to innovative ways that member states and the private sector can promote ICT advancement, food security, and sustainable urbanization across the global South.
The forum began with a meeting in which world leaders, government officials and top business executives explored ways to build and expand public-private partnerships and investment opportunities in Africa. Government representatives from Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania detailed the various sectors ripe for investment potential in their home countries. In addition, top business executives presented their companies, products, and services, showcasing the diversity and dynamism of the private sector in Africa.
H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe, Chairman of SS-SCSD, referenced Rio+10 and the subsequent realization that there existed a need to further partnerships in order to advance the sustainable development agenda. This point was expanded by H.E. Mr. Alexandru Cujba, Secretary-General of SS-SCSD, who noted that influential actors continue to play an increasing role in promoting the global public good, and that the private sector is making important contributions to this end.
Participants from the public and private sectors agreed that Africa’s future economic growth will be based on strong partnerships between governments and businesses.
The second day featured a policy debate in which leaders discussed the importance of food security, knowledge exchange, technical cooperation, sustainable urbanization and capacity-building for sustainable development in accordance with the Outcome Document of the Rio+20 Conference.
H.E. Mr. Francis Lorenzo, Executive-President of SS-SCSD, stated that South-South and Triangular Cooperation have proven effective at generating trade, facilitating capital flow, and promoting the exchange of knowledge and technological capacity.
H.E. Mr. Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho, emphasized the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation, stating that it will continue to be an important auxiliary tool for catalyzing implementation efforts among the developing countries.
The forum also saw the launch of the IOSSC Africa Representative Office, a new initiative whose aim is to help promote regional partnerships and development in Africa. George Zhang, Chief of the IOSSC Africa Representative Office, promised to uphold its mission to bring technology and financial resources from around the world to contribute to sustainable development in Africa.
The High-Level Forum on South-South Cooperation was concluded with world leaders, ministers, United Nations officials, diplomats, ambassadors and members of the business community unified in agreement that partnerships and sharing of best practices are key to ensuring sustainable development in Africa, and across the global South.