UNGA Discusses Cooperation, ICT for Post-2015 Development Agenda
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Participants noted changes in the traditional donor landscape and discussed ways to leverage North-South, South-South, triangular cooperation, and ICT for the development and implementation, in a UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level event on 21-22 May 2014, in New York, US.

Member States, UN officials, and representatives of civil society focused on ways for South‐South and triangular cooperation to complement, not replace, traditional forms of cooperation.

UNGA21 May 2014: Participants noted changes in the traditional donor landscape and discussed ways to leverage North-South, South-South, triangular cooperation, and information and communication technologies (ICT) for the development and implementation, in a UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level event on 21-22 May 2014, in New York, US. Member States, UN officials, and representatives of civil society focused on ways for South‐South and triangular cooperation to complement, not replace, traditional forms of cooperation.

“The absolute size of the emerging economies and their populations and the interconnectedness of global challenges, such as climate change, suggest that the full engagement of both the North and the South is needed to pursue new development pathways which are sustainable and inclusive,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, noted that North-South cooperation will play an even more important role beyond 2015, especially for the least developed countries (LDCs), countries in conflict and countries that are bypassed by international financial flows. Meanwhile, he said, South-South and triangular cooperation are growing fast, boosting sustained economic growth: South-South trade represents over a quarter of all global trade and, thanks in part to South-South investment, foreign direct investment flows to sub-Saharan Africa have remained stable. Abha Joshi-Ghani, The World Bank Institute, added that the best ideas do not necessarily originate in the North, and for many local problems the best solutions are local. Thus, South-South knowledge-sharing platforms have a vital role.

Highlighting that digital inclusion is directly linked to increasing GDP, Neelie Kroes, European Commission, emphasized that the South should not merely catch up with the North but become global leaders. She further suggested that the ultimate aim of the post-2015 development agenda should be to create a “connected world” through ICTs, as the global basis for sustainable inclusion, growth and environmental protection. “Getting there takes coalitions of industry, governments and investors to roll out broadband infrastructure and pool investments,” she added.

Describing “algo-trading,” which caused two “flash-crashes” at the New York Stock Exchange, exclusive intellectual property rights (IPR), and human rights violations using ICTs, Silvia Ribeiro, ETC Group, underlined that ICTs are not a panacea: they raise issues related to ownership and social, cultural, environmental, health, and gender impacts. She proposed a technology facilitation mechanism (TFM) that includes a multilateral, democratic, participatory technology assessment mechanism, independent of the interests of those promoting the specific technologies.

The event, ‘Contributions of North-South, South-South, Triangular Cooperation, and ICT for Development to the Implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda,’ took place in parallel to the 18th session of the High‐level Committee on South‐South Cooperation, held on 19-22 May 2014, in New York, US. [Event Website] [Statement of Deputy Secretary-General] [UN Press Release] [IISD RS Sources]


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