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South-South and Triangular Cooperation

South-South and triangular cooperation is one of the important drivers of regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific and has resulted in increased volumes of South-South trade, foreign direct investment flows and technology transfer. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other internationally agreed development goals have set new milestones for the international community, including the United Nations. The UN General Assembly resolution 71/244 urges the United Nations development system, in consultation with all members States, to increasingly leverage, as appropriate, South-South cooperation to bolster its impact in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In doing so, the United Nations is requested to enhance its support in the areas where South-South cooperation has proved effective, namely, capacity-building, policy coordination, regional integration, interregional linkages, infrastructure interconnectivity and the development of national productive capacities through exchanges of knowledge and technological innovations.

South-South and triangular cooperation has been a core modality of ESCAP's work since the Commission's inception. Some concrete examples of this collaboration include harnessing space technology services to provide early warning systems for natural disasters through the ESCAP Multi-donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness; broadening regional trade and investment research and knowledge base through the Asia Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT); and other platforms for the transfer of ideas and knowledge.

Bringing together the governments and other stakeholders from the region, ESCAP, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the Thailand International Cooperation Agency convened the Regional Consultation on South-South Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific (27-29 June 2018, Bangkok). The meeting established the Asia-Pacific Directors General Forum for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, or the “Asia-Pacific DG Forum.” Every year, the Forum brings together the heads of development cooperation and South-South cooperation agencies and units of ESCAP member States to share experiences, good practices, and provide a venue for facilitating collaboration on issues related to South-South and triangular cooperation.

Timeline of South-South and Triangular Cooperation


Regional 5th Asia-Pacific DG Forum


Global South-South Expo 2022
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/77/185
Regional March: Roundtable on Network for SSC in A-P
September: 4th Asia-Pacific DG Forum


Global General Assembly Resolution A/RES/76/221


Global UN System-wide Strategy on SS&TrC, 2020-2024
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/75/234
Regional 3rd Asia-Pacific DG Forum


Global BAPA+40
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/291
General Assembly Resolution A/RES/74/239
Regional ESCAP Resolution 75/3


GlobalGeneral Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/249
Regional June: Establishment of Asia-Pacific DG Forum
November: 2nd Asia-Pacific DG Forum