South-South cooporation on peace and development

South-South cooperation on peace and development

Dated Published: September 2019

As we approach the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the 1978 adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA), 1 we must take stock of the past and potential contributions of South-South Cooperation (SSC) if we are to leverage its achievements and momentum.

The intersection between peace and development presents a key gap in terms of both knowledge production and the kind of political incentive that comes with evidence. There is no systematized reporting in this area, and even though SSC on peace and development (P&D) is taking place, there has not been a major Southern push to organize knowledge and political engagement around the theme. Countries like Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Timor-Leste and South Africa have been knowingly cooperating with other countries in the South on several issues. These include: transitional justice, the procedures of truth commissions, peace mediation, peacekeeping and elections support, while also addressing the root causes of conflict and mobilizing capacity in key areas, such as the training of judges, educating youth for peace, strengthening local leadership, establishing communitarian land initiatives, fostering transparent knowledge exchange on extractive industries, building capacity and raising human rights awareness among security forces. 2 Based on existing SSC initiatives to promote P&D, SSC successes in other areas, and the changing context of a field that is leaning towards a more holistic view of peace, 3 SSC offers important contributions for P&D. And with BAPA+40 approaching, there is now a window of opportunity to promote it. This is a step towards providing evidence and support for this promotion.

In this context, the paper seeks to map out conceptual challenges related to SSC on P&D, help compose a Southern narrative for this engagement, explore the connections between SSC principles and current discussions on peace using a theoretical approach and raise awareness through regional and cross-regional analyses.

It is expected this Southern narrative and conceptual framework for SSC on P&D shall benefit member states’ actions in that area, as well as knowledge production, practices and general engagement from non-state actors both in the South and in the North. The analysis based on examples of SSC on P&D will hopefully further the knowledge sharing purpose of SSC by offering accessible demonstrations of these practices. It has the potential to benefit policy decision making and the structuring of M&E systems, in addition to offering insights to academics, civil society, the private sector and other nonstate actors. Moreover, these contributions aim to feed into the knowledge-sharing initiatives in preparation for BAPA+40.

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