8 December 2020 - Southern think-tanks from Africa, Asia, the Arab Region and Latin America came together on 8 December 2020 for the 4th Steering Committee Meeting for South-South Global Thinkers: A global coalition of think tank networks for South-South Cooperation.

The South-South Global Thinkers is facilitated by UNOSSC and UNDP, in partnership with various Southern-led think tank networks, supported by founding partners including NGOs and the private sector. The platform contributes to the growing body of evidence and knowledge on issues pertinent to SSC, to inform policy dialogues and advance thought leadership. The objective of the initiative is to contribute to the growing body of evidence and knowledge on issues pertinent to SSC, to inform policy dialogues and advance thought leadership.

Since 2017, think-tanks and experts from the South (as well as some from the North) have drawn on their expertise for peer-to-peer learning, exchanges of knowledge and experience, and networking; policy dialogues, coordination; and technical assistance. Discussions have sought to inform global policy dialogues and agendas on SSC with the goal to inform and accelerate the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The meeting was attended by 20-25 participants from think tank network members, representatives from UNOSSC, UNDP, founding partners and also invited observing members. Members from the Network of Southern Think-Tanks (NeST), NeST Latin America (NeST LATAM), Southern Voice, La Iniciativa Latinoamericana de Investigación para las políticas Públicas (ILAIPP), the Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR), Global Research Consortium on Economic Structural Transformation (GReCEST), and Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) participated to take stock of the progress of the Global Thinkers to date and reflect on the lessons learned. In addition to discussing the opportunities to grow the work of the coalition, the importance of and ways to enhance South-South Cooperation, especially in the context of the pandemic, were also discussed. Special comments were made from funding partners – Yingke Law Firm and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC).

Think-tanks also presented and discussed priority research areas for South-South Cooperation for the year 2021, taking into account the impact of COVID-19 and to advance on the implementation of SDGs. Research ideas, Just to mention a few, included COVID-19 related issues, addressing illicit financial flows, southern contributions to global public goods, debt sustainability, technology value chains, and statistics on SSC.

The conversation was moderated by Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of UNOSSC and opening and closing remarks were provided by Mr. Adel Abdellatif, Director a.i., UNOSSC and Margaret Thomas, Director, Effectiveness Team, UNDP.

To learn more about South-South Global Thinkers, click here.