Building a case for the potential role of South-South Cooperation in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals that impact Children


Forty years since the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for promoting and implementing Technical Cooperation amongst Developing Countries and some 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), much has been achieved.

South-South Cooperation has evolved into a mature and critical modality for delivering development results. This is recognized under SDG 17 which acknowledges that South-South and triangular cooperation are essential in delivering the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Over the same period, significant progress has been made in protecting the rights of children and improving their welfare. UNICEF believes that SSC is a valuable tool, not only for achieving the SDGs, but also in fulfilling the rights of all children and young people, especially those in the global South.

In the past decades, countries in the global South demonstrated that home-grown development models that are cost-effective and adaptable to similar contexts have the power to bring about scaled-up responses and results. The Bolsa Familia programme of Brazil improved the lives of some 14 million families including the poorest of the poor; India’s economic growth and technological advances lifted millions out of poverty; and China transformed into an economic power in just over a decade, with corresponding gains in human capital. Cuba and Thailand demonstrated that the elimination of mother- to-child transmission of HIV could be achieved with political will and appropriate investments, and many countries are regularly producing, although less visible, innovative and cost-effective models that are not only benefiting their people but are increasingly and more effectively transferred and adapted by other countries. Developing countries are learning from each other, and while many are still receiving development assistance, many are also offering funding support within their cooperation with other countries.

However, despite the above progress, SSC has not been used systematically and at global scale to address persisting and emerging development challenges affecting children and young people. At this juncture, we have an opportunity to change that. This roundtable seeks to make the case for the potential role of South-South and triangular cooperation in delivering the SDGs that impact children and young people.


Within the preparatory processes leading up to BAPA+40, UNICEF and UNOSSC, in collaboration with the Governments of Argentina, Thailand and Uganda and the Islamic Development Bank are convening a round-table discussion on the role of South-South and triangular cooperation in advancing the SDGs that impact children.

In particular, the round-table will seek to:

  • Build a case for the potential role of South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) in delivering the SDGs that impact children and young people
  • Showcase success stories of Governments and partners in achieving results for children, which are increasingly shared and scaled-up through different SSC modalities
  • Produce a summary note highlighting some principles and priorities for the potential role of SSTC in advancing the SDGs that impact children which could inform deliberations for BAPA+40

Danny Kaye Room, UNICEF House, 3 UN Plaza, 44th Street, New York. 


Ms. Martha Santos, Program Manager, South-South cooperation, UNICEF
Email:; Tel: 1 (917) 265-4532

Mr. Mehdi Mirafzal, Senior Advisor, UNOSSC
Email:; Tel: 1 (212) 906-5325