BANGKOK/BEIJING, SEPTEMBER 12 (IPS) – Today’s world faces a future that is at stake. Our challenges are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected, as we see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, uneven economic recovery, climate emergency , growing inequality and increasing conflict globally. This year also marks an important milestone, with more than 100 million people forced to relocate.
These events are accompanied by growing divisions within the community of countries that threaten to push the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) further for the Global South.
Add to these crises, rising food and energy prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, which could push 71 million people into poverty, according to UNDP. The Global South, which typically includes countries in South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, already grappling with economic problems exacerbated by the tri-planetary crisis.
With limited resources, high vulnerability and low resilience, people in the Global South will bear the brunt of our inaction, on climate and elsewhere. Reliance solely on external aid from the Global North or the G7 countries cannot be a panacea. Here, the countries of the Global South can empower themselves and combine efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Collaboration to catalyze change
In the face of global threats, international cooperation remains an important factor, highlighted on the International Day of South-South Cooperation. South-South cooperation seeks to complement traditional development models by illuminating the transformations needed to realize priorities, including the SDGs. It provides possible solutions from Global South to Global South.
Countries in the Global South have contributed to more than half of recent global economic growth. Intra-South trade is higher than ever, accounting for more than a quarter of world trade. It’s time to further leverage these partnerships in the growth space.
We have seen this while many countries are trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Citizens of low- and middle-income countries face systemic discrimination in the global COVID-19 response, leaving millions without access to vaccines, testing and treatment. treatment. India has sent more than 254.4 million vaccine supplies to countries around the worldunder the name Vaccine Maitri – a vaccine export initiative.
Likewise, China has provided over 200 million doses of vaccine for COVAX . Facilityin addition to providing millions of dollars in medical supplies to countries in the Global South, including in Africa, throughout the pandemic.
Provide information on cooperation models with Africa and China
To advance development priorities, partnerships need to be rooted in mutual interests that can lead to mutual benefits, as seen in traditional development models and support from Global North. This dynamic also needs to be at the core of the China-Africa relationship.
China, an economic powerhouse, has the potential to accelerate development in the Global South, especially in Africa, by bringing its experience, expertise and resources, and their support. must promote both their own interests and those of the countries in which China operates.
Investing in common goals is reflected in China’s efforts to improve public health in Africa, including the construction of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Ethiopia, and in clean energy, through projects such as the Kafue Lower Gorge Power Station in Zambia .
China promises to invest 60 billion US dollars accumulated in Africa by 2035, targeting agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, environmental protection and the digital economy. This is most welcome and such planned investments must meet the needs of local economies and societies.
What works in one country may not work in another, but true collaboration allows learning from mistakes and sharing successes. This is where UN expertise can ensure on-demand collaboration, in line with local expectations and needs, national development priorities, and international norms and standards. related.
Platforms like the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) can work to improve that essential partnership. The mechanism identified shared priorities such as climate change, agriculture/food systems, global health and energy security, among others between China and Africa.
For the first time in the history of FOCAC and with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations in China has joined as a strategic partner in this China-Africa bilateral mechanism. The UN in China is continuing similar efforts in close consultation with relevant partners, including the China Agency for International Development Cooperation.
For the Rockefeller Foundation, it is a sign of the foundation’s legacy in China that dates back to 1914, rooted in the redesign of medical education to improve healthcare and the organization’s current priorities. This organization aims to promote global cooperation of the South, especially in the areas of public health, food and access to clean energy – all global public goods.
Beyond the Global South: Acting Together
With less than eight years to achieve the sustainable development goals, international cooperation is truly our only hope. Emerging trends in technology and innovation could get us there, along with enhanced South-South cooperation efforts. But doing so requires us to “overturn orthodoxy,” as UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed advises.
The Ebola crisis is an example of how global cooperation, including South-South cooperation, has helped Sierra Leone defeat the spread of the disease, notably through a brigade of 461 medical personnel sent to Sierra Leone to support their overloaded system. Later, other countries made similar efforts to support Sierra Leone and neighboring countries, such as Guinea and Liberia. This example shows the potential of South-South cooperation, but also triangular cooperation and North-South partnership. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is another mechanism for financing and capacity building.
This can be seen in Kenya, where the Government and the UN System have convened SDG . Partner Platform with companies like Philips, Huawei, Safaricom, GSK and Merck. The results include a trend of decreasing maternal and child mortality in some of the most remote parts of the country. Similar public-private partnerships could hold great promise in unlocking the global progress towards the SDGs.
Today, while we face a volatile world, the spirit of South-South cooperation reveals a core value we need: solidarity. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres put it: “The past two years have demonstrated a simple but devastating truth – if we abandon anyone, we will leave everyone behind.”
IPS UN Office
© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service