Online SSC Handbook

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Who We Are

The Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU/SSC) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1978. Hosted in UNDP, our primary mandate is to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation on a Global and United Nations system-wide basis.

The Special Unit receives policy directives and guidance from the General Assembly High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation (HLC) which is a committee of the whole and a subsidiary body of the General Assembly that reviews world wide progress in South-South Cooperation. The Special Unit serves as the HLC's full Secretariat, preparing all substantive reports, including the report to the Secretary General on the state of South-South Cooperation. We organize the GA-proclaimed United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, celebrated annually on December 19. We manage the United Nations Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (UNFSC) and the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF) and also implement programmes financed by United Nations Development Programme [More]

What We Do

Our work is broadly organized into three focus areas.

  • Policy, Dialogue & Development
  • Public Private Partnership
  • Southern Development Exchange

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How We Operate

The Special Unit for South-South Cooperation operates by building and strengthening broad-based partnerships with a range of organizations, including the International Organization for Migration, UNCTAD, UNESCO, the World Bank, NGOs, the private sector, civil society and a wide variety of international development agencies. These relationships have attracted inputs, funding and other resources which are committed to implementing projects by utilizing a number of methods including triangular cooperation. In scenarios where triangular cooperation is used, SU/SSC initiates, develops and assists in the execution of technical cooperation among two or more developing countries that is supported financially by northern donors or by international organizations.

There are currently a few diversified funding mechanisms. The South-South Trust Fund, for instance, provides one of the effective mechanisms to collect and make use of resources in support of South-South cooperation initiatives, most recently the Tsunami relief projects. Resource mobilization is essential to ensuring that the agenda of the Global South has concrete outcomes. For this reason, the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation administers existing funds as well as secures additional funding sources through its public private partnerships and pivotal countries in the South to provide seed funding to inspire and support new initiatives in their incubator stages.

Overview of Funding Sources:

Resource Mobilization

  • United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation: The High Level Committee for South-South Cooperation of the UN General Assembly provides this Fund to assist the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to carry out its mandate. Through this fund in 2005, general contributions or pledges were received from China ($700,000), Nigeria ($1 million pledge); and Japan ($1,768,585) as cost-sharing for programmes in 2005 and 2006. In addition, $3,510,445 from Algeria, Benin, Brazil, China, Comoros and Egypt was received for the tsunami-affected countries.

  • The Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF): The Special Unit manages the PGTF on behalf of the G-77. Over the past year, PGTF approved 11 projects—in addition to the 60 ongoing ones--requiring financial support amounting to $315,300.

  • South-South Grants Facility: In partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP country offices in the Asia and the Pacific region, and the United Nations Office of Project Services, the Special Unit is channeling funding through local NGOs and civil society for the promotion of livelihood rehabilitation, particularly among women in the affected areas, and the rebuilding of community infrastructure, such as schools and community spaces.

International Community

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Key Documents

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Reference Library

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Southern Wisdom

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still  -  Chinese Proverb