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High-level Conference to Adopt Landmark South-South Road Map towards Sustainable Development for All, Buenos Aires, 20-22 March

Heads of State and Government, Cabinet Ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of civil society and the private and public sectors, will gather in Buenos Aires from 20 to 22 March for the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

The Conference, hosted by the Government of Argentina and commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the 1978 United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, will convene under the auspices of the General Assembly on the basis of that organ’s resolutions 71/244 and 71/318, and decisions 72/544 and 73/543.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will open the meeting.  Delivering statements will be María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador), President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly; Adonia Ayebare (Uganda), President of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation; Inga Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), President of the Economic and Social Council; and Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who will serve as Secretary-General of the Conference; as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations, among others.

Focusing on the overarching theme “Role of South-South Cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: challenges and opportunities”, the programme of work for the Conference will consist of a plenary debate over the three days, during which Member States will confirm their political commitment to both South-South and triangular cooperation.  Three interactive dialogues will provide a pathway for sharing experiences of implementation and partnerships at all levels with stakeholders.

The first dialogue will address “Comparative advantages and opportunities of South-South cooperation and sharing of experiences, best practices and success stories”.  The second will focus on “Challenges and the strengthening of the institutional framework of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation” and the third on “Scaling up the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in support of South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation”.


The Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (document A/CONF.79/13/Rev.1, chap. I), adopted in 1978 during the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, provided countries of the global South with a framework within which to reinforce cooperation among themselves with a view to collective self-reliance, which would in turn enable them to achieve their development goals and reduce poverty through mutual assistance and solidarity.  Some 40 years later, South-South cooperation has increased in relevance as an important modality of international cooperation for sustainable development with an expanded scale, scope and number of actors involved.

In 2015, the international community adopted the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes the salient role of South-South cooperation in achieving its goals and targets.  Major frameworks, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework, have also given impetus to South-South and triangular cooperation.

The scope of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) will be to review trends in South-South and triangular cooperation, including the progress made by the international community, the United Nations in particular, in supporting and promoting such cooperation and identifying new opportunities.  It is also expected to address challenges and suggest ways to overcome them with a view to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda and other internationally agreed development initiatives.

Last 12 September, BAPA’s fortieth anniversary, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said:  “Driven by a spirit of solidarity, respect for national sovereignty and equal partnership, BAPA embodied the developing world’s desire to promote the sharing of home-grown solutions as a complement to North-South cooperation in fostering international cooperation for development.”  The Conference is a chance to launch an inclusive South-South and triangular road map for implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including through enhanced engagement by the United Nations.

Additional Information

For general and background information on South-South Cooperation, please visit

For conference information, including live webcast information, please visit

Media Contacts:  Mithre Sandrasagra, email:, tel.:  +1 646 391 7834, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.

For information media. Not an official record.