Panama - May 8 to 10, 2012
Panama City, May 10th, 2012 – After two intense days of work, Tomas Guardia, General Director of International Organizations and Conferences and Freddy Justiniano, Director a.i. of UNDP Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean closed the fair, Knowledge from the South: Regional Exchange of Solutions, announcing that 16 new South-South Cooperation (SSC) agreements has been reached.
In the area of social programs and social protection systems, for example, agreements between representatives of Brazil, Peru, Chile and Cuba in the field of literacy and development of self-employment initiatives for young people were identified. Also, representatives of Panama, Argentina and Ecuador expressed their willingness to continue cooperating on health issues for older adults. In turn, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Barbados agreed to continue the dialogue on self-employment, youth entrepreneurship and banks of opportunities.
In the field of environment, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina sealed their commitment to further develop knowledge exchange on issues of management of production systems for aquaculture and cotton farming. In citizen participation, inclusion and public policies, potential agreements were identified between representatives of Ecuador and Paraguay.
Freddy Justiniano emphasized that the existence of these agreements reflects the richness of the debate between representatives of the 33 experiences selected to participate in the Fair. "This shows that you have been the protagonists -he told the participants. It is worth noting that it was not the bilateral or multilateral community who has come to teach you anything, but you have analyzed the current challenges and proposed solutions to address them”.
The Director a.i. of UNDP Regional Centre said that what is important now is to follow up on the established exchanges. "The United Nations will collaborate in the systematization of experiences that the countries are carrying out. We are confident that new collaboration agreements will arise from the follow-up that is going to be made”, he said after reaffirming the UNDP and UN system’s commitment to human development.
“Today South-South Cooperation is one of the most relevant means for contributing to development issues. We are convinced that all cooperation projects should include a South-South focus”, he said.
Tomas Guardia also highlighted the importance of South-South Cooperation. “It offers mechanisms and opportunities through which the developing countries, emerging and in transition can come together to design development solutions adapted to their particular situations and not rely at all times on the support from external donors. It serves as complement to the North-South cooperation,” he explained.
For the General Director of Organizations and International Conferences this fair has evidenced the value of association and collaboration instead of carrying out isolated actions. “The main advantage of this fair is that it was an interactive event, full of solutions and answers to development enigmas. Together with the solutions presented, we made tangible contact with real actors and organizations that had made these experiences take place. This dynamic and practical approach to development must serve to inspire us to go out and do more of the same,” he said.
The exchanges that took place in this Fair were made possible through the exhibition of 33 experiences and 17 round tables designed to promote the exchange and agreements for human sustainable development.
There were also six spaces for presentation and debate about ideas such as, the role of academia in SSC, education and technology, SSC platforms and the contributions of multilateral and bilateral organizations to strengthening SSC, the role of the United Nation System and SSC funding.