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Argentina: South-South Cooperation Conference Offers Alternative Way for Development

  • A student dress as a killer whale dances during a protest to demand global action on climate change as part of the

    A student dress as a killer whale dances during a protest to demand global action on climate change as part of the "Fridays for Future" movement in Buenos Aires, Argentina. March 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 March 2019

Over one thousand people will meet in Buenos Aires for the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, from 20-22 March 2019. 

The BAPA+40 Conference will mark the fortieth anniversary of the U.N. Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, which convened from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12 1978, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That meeting adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA).

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The plan established a scheme of collaboration among least developed countries, mostly located in the south of the planet. It also introduced for the first time a framework for this type of cooperation and incorporated in its practice the basic principles of relations between sovereign States: respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and equality of rights, among others.

Since then, South-South Cooperation has been perceived as a way to convey solidarity among the countries in question and to alter asymmetrical relations dominated by the global North.

South-South cooperation is an alternative development strategy for Southern countries and also an opportunity to promote a new way to support their growth rate based on the potential of their internal market. 

According to a report published in 2017 by the U.N about South-South Cooperation, 5,000 South-South Cooperation initiatives have been documented in the past decade, and their numbers have increased eightfold over this time. In 2015, the number of initiatives rose to 1,475. Of these initiatives, 1,206 were bilateral, 168 were triangular and 101 were regional.

Among Latin America’s 19 countries, the initiatives’ main providers were Argentina, with 180 projects, followed by Mexico, with 125, Brazil, with 110, and Chile, with 90.

The three-day conference will, among other things, discuss ways to increase and strengthen technical cooperation between developing countries in the Global South in areas such as agriculture, digital issues, peaceful uses of nuclear, bioeconomy and institution building. 

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