South–South Cooperation is a term historically used by policymakers
and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology, and
knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the
3 Economic alliance
3.1 Banks to finance infrastructure projects
3.2 Asia–Pacific Free Trade Area
4 South-South cooperation in science
4.1 Role of regional economic communities
4.2 Bilateral collaboration
4.3 Role of regional centres
5 Security alliance
6 Political unity
9 See also
11 External links
The formation of SSC can be traced to the Asian–African Conference
that took place in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955 which is also known as
the Bandung Conference. The conference has been largely regarded as a
milestone for SSC cooperation. Indonesia's president at that time,
Sukarno, referred to it as "the first intercontinental conference of
coloured peoples in the history of mankind." Despite Sukarno's
opening address about the conference, there had been gatherings
similar to the Bandung conference in the past. Nevertheless the
Bandung Conference was distinctive and facilitated the formation of
SSC because it was the first time that the countries in attendance
were no longer colonies of distant European powers. President
Sukarno also famously remarked at the conference that "Now we are
free, sovereign, and independent. We are again masters in our own
house. We do not need to go to other continents to confer."
The conference was sponsored by India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, and
Indonesia and was attended by these 29 independent countries:
Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gold
Coast, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon,
Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria,
Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, State of
Vietnam, and the Kingdom of Yemen. Each country supported the
continuation of decolonization efforts happening in both
Asia at the time. Although many countries disagreed on some issues,
Bandung Conference "provided the first major instance of the
post-colonial countries' collective resistance to Western Dominance in
In 1978, the
United Nations established the Unit for South–South
Cooperation to promote South–South trade and collaboration within
However, the idea of
South–South cooperation only started to
influence the field of development in the late 1990s. Due to the
geographical spectrum, activities are known as South America-Africa
(ASA) cooperation as well as, in the Asia-Pacific
region, South–South cooperation.
The ASA cooperation has so far held two summits. The first summit was
held in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2006 where 53 delegates from
Africa and 12
South America attended. The second and most recent one was held
Margarita Island in
Venezuela in Sept 2009 where 49 heads of
Africa and 12 heads of states from South America
South–South cooperation has been successful in decreasing dependence
on the aid programs of developed countries and in creating a shift in
the international balance of power.
The Leaders of South American and African countries hope that this
cooperation will bring a new world order and counter the existing
Western dominance socially, economically and politically. Late
Hugo Chávez saw the formation of this cooperation as the
"beginning of the salvation of [the] people," and as a major
anti-imperialism movement. Like President Hugo Chávez, the ex-Libyan
Muammar al-Gaddafi was also very critical of the Western
dominance of the "third world" nations.
One of the key goals of the cooperation is to strengthen and improve
economic ties. Some of the areas which these "southern" nations look
forward to improving further include joint investment in energy and
oil, and a common bank. Among other regional trade agreements which
were reached during the 2009 summit was
Venezuela signing an oil
agreement with South
Africa and a memorandum of understanding with
Sierra Leone to form a joint mining company. Meanwhile, Brazil has
developed an increasingly successful model of overseas aid provision
of over $1 billion annually (ahead of many traditional donors),
which focuses on technical expertise and the transfer of knowledge and
expertise. Most of Brazilian aid is allocated to Africa, specifically
to Portuguese-speaking African countries, and Latin America.
Brazil's form of South–South development aid has been called a
'global model in waiting'.
The two continents have over one quarter of the world's energy
resources. This includes the oil and natural gas reserves in Bolivia,
Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Chad,
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
In recent years, the
South–South cooperation has recognized the
importance of effective financial inclusion policy in order to better
deliver appropriate financial services to the poor. Because of this,
financial policy makers from nearly 100 developing and emerging
countries now comprise a global knowledge-sharing network called the
Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI).
Representatives from the developing south meet annually at the Global
Policy Forum (GPF), making it the most important and comprehensive
forum for regulatory institutions from emerging economies with an
interest in promoting financial inclusion policy. The forum is focused
on developing and improving national financial inclusion strategies
and policies, and is used as a platform for senior financial
regulators to exchange ideas and engage in peer-to-peer learning
Banks to finance infrastructure projects
One challenge for
South–South cooperation has been the lack of
sufficient capital to start a South–South bank as an alternative to
the IMF and the World Bank. This has changed with the launch of two
new 'South–South banks'.
At the sixth summit of the
BRICS countries (Brazil, Russian
China and South Africa), in July 2014, the five
partners approved the establishment of the
New Development Bank
New Development Bank (or
BRICS Development Bank), with a primary focus on lending for
infrastructure projects. It will be based in Shanghai. A Contingency
Reserve Agreement (CRA) has been concluded in parallel to provide the
BRICS countries with alternatives to the
World Bank and International
Monetary Fund in times of economic hardship, protect their national
economies and strengthen their global position. The Russian Federation
is contributing US$18 billion to the CRA, which will be credited by
the five partners with a total of over US$100 billion. The CRA is now
operational. In 2015 and 2016, work was under way to develop financing
mechanisms for innovative projects with the new bank’s
The second new bank is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It
has also been set up to finance infrastructure projects. Spearheaded
by China, the bank is based in Beijing. By 2016, more than 50
countries had expressed interest in joining, including a number of
developed countries: France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, United
Asia–Pacific Free Trade Area
China is spearheading the creation of an Asia–Pacific Free Trade
Area, which, according to China’s vision, would override existing
bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements in the region. The
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November 2014 endorsed the
Beijing Roadmap for completing a feasibility study by late 2016.
South-South cooperation in science
Role of regional economic communities
Countries of the South are developing cooperation through regional
economic communities. For example, the Russian Federation is
developing co-operation with Asian partners within the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union. The latter
was launched on 1 January 2015 with Belarus and Kazakhstan and has
since been extended to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The Eurasian Economic
Union replaces the Eurasian Economic Community. In July 2015, the
Russian Federation hosted a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation in the same city, at which the admission of
Pakistan was announced.
Regional economic communities have become a conduit for South–South
cooperation in science, technology and innovation. For example,
Iran’s Nanotechnology Initiative Council established an Econano
network in 2008 to promote the scientific and industrial development
of nanotechnology among fellow members of the Economic Cooperation
Organization, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Countries are also co-operating in science, technology and innovation
on a bilateral basis to develop infrastructure and diversify the
economy. There is ‘dynamic bilateral collaboration’ between China
and the Russian Federation, for instance. This cooperation stems from
the Treaty on Good Neighbourliness, Friendship and Co-operation signed
by the two countries in 2001, which has given rise to regular
four-year plans for its implementation. Dozens of joint large-scale
projects are being carried out. They concern the construction of the
first super-high-voltage electricity transmission line in China; the
development of an experimental fast neutron reactor; geological
prospecting in the Russian Federation and China; and joint research in
optics, metal processing, hydraulics, aerodynamics and solid fuel
cells. Other priority areas for co-operation include industrial and
medical lasers, computer technology, energy, the environment and
chemistry, geochemistry, catalytic processes and new materials.
Role of regional centres
Increasingly, countries of the South are fostering cooperation in
science and technology through regional or international centres.
Africa has considerably expanded its networks of centres of excellence
since the turn of the century. Most of these networks focus on
biosciences but there is also a network in the field of mathematical
sciences. Examples are the Bio-Innovate network based in Kenya, which
focuses on improving agricultural techniques and developing
agro-processing, and the
African Biosafety Network of Expertise based
in Burkina Faso, which helps regulators deal with safety issues
related to the introduction and development of genetically modified
organisms. These networks have an Achilles tendon, in that they tend
to be reliant on donor funding for their survival.
Many regional and international centres have been set up under the
United Nations agencies. One example is the International
Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South–South
Cooperation (ISTIC) in Malaysia. It was established in 2008 under the
auspices of UNESCO. In 2014, the Caribbean network of scientists,
Cariscience, ran a training workshop in Tobago on Technopreneurship
for the Caribbean, in partnership with ISTIC. Another example is a
centre which uses Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and
Applications in the Middle East (SESAME). Most of the eight members of
SESAME are developing economies: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel,
Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. The SESAME
centre is being officially inaugurated in May 2017.
Iran hosts several
international research centres, including the following, which
function under the auspices of
United Nations bodies: the Regional
Centre for Science Park and Technology Incubator Development (UNESCO,
est. 2010), the International Centre on Nanotechnology (UNIDO, est.
2012) and the Regional Educational and Research Centre for
Oceanography for Western Asia (UNESCO, est. 2014).
Peace and security responsibilities are also on the top of the agenda
for cooperation. During the 2009 summit,
Colonel Gaddafi proposed a
defence alliance between the two continents.[which?] He called the
alliance "a Nato of the South." This type of alliance aims to act
as an alternative to the
Security Council none of whose permanent
members is from the two continents.
Another area that some of the leaders intend to see big developments
in is in the political arena. This is to say that cooperation will
give the continents more political power when it comes to the global
arena. Some leaders hope that the cooperation will offer greater
freedom in choosing a political system. For example, Hugo Chávez
hoped to use
South–South cooperation as a stage on which to get his
message of what he called "21st Century Socialism" across.
The most apparent critique is that there are just a few voices being
heard. These voices are often from the comparatively rich and powerful
states of the south (e.g. Brazil, South
Africa and Venezuela).
This article incorporates text from a free content work.
Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030,
621, UNESCO, UNESCO Publishing.
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South-South cooperation in science
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