The world’s Middle Income Countries (MICs), which are defined as having a per capita gross national income of US$1,026 to $12,475 (2011), are a diverse group by size, population, and income level. Middle income countries are home to five of the world’s seven billion people and 73 percent of the world’s poor people. At the same time, middle income countries represent about one third of global GDP and are major engines of global growth. Middle Income Countries (MICs) play a crucial role in promoting South-South cooperation.
Development co-operation plays an incentivising role in strengthening key enablers for positive change in development processes, rather than just filling a financial gap. Development co-operation is recognised for its role in providing MICs with much needed ‘stimulus’ to shift from labour intensive specialisation towards innovation and technological solutions to sustain productivity growth and avoid the middle-income trap.
The positive contributions of development cooperation have been noted in many countries in areas such as government capacity to innovate (public-sector enabler); skills development and human capital (private-sector enabler); green growth; and more human-centred / technologically-oriented development (private-sector enablers).
These cooperation efforts fall largely under the umbrellas of policy advice; institutional and Human Resource capacity support; and knowledge partnerships and transfer of technologies, including through South-South Cooperation (SSC) and Triangular Co-operation (TrC); all of which help countries realise benefits that go well beyond funding.
Non-Aligned Movement has stressed on the importance of development cooperation with Middle Income Countries. At the 17th NAM Summit held in Venezuela, NAM Member States have recognised that despite the recent progress achieved and the efforts made by middle-income countries, 75% of the world’s poor population lives in those countries.
The achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including Millennium Development Goals and the SDGs, as well as the achievement of full employment and the creation of jobs for the youth, the diversification of their economies, and the development of technologies continue to be huge challenges for middle-income countries.
NAM has welcomed the adoption of UNGA resolution 68/222 of 20 December 2013 and Resolution 70/ 215. The resolutions acknowledge the efforts made and successes achieved by many middle income countries in eradicating poverty and achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, as well as their significant contribution to global and regional development and economic stability. The resolution also welcomes the solidarity of middle-income countries with other developing countries, in particular the financial, technical, technology transfer and capacity-building support being provided by middle-income countries, particularly to the least developed countries, through South-South and triangular cooperation, while stressing that South-South cooperation is a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation. NAM, in this regard has called upon the United Nations development system to continue its on-going efforts to mainstream support to South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation.
NAM recognises that middle-income countries still face significant challenges in achieving sustainable development and in order to ensure that achievements made to date are sustained, that efforts to address on-going challenges should be strengthened through the exchange of experiences, improved coordination and better and focused support of the United Nations development system, the international financial institutions, regional organizations and other stakeholders, requests those stakeholders to ensure that the diverse and specific development needs of middle-income countries are appropriately considered and addressed, in a tailored fashion, in their relevant strategies and policies, with a view to promoting a coherent and comprehensive approach towards individual countries.
NAM has emphasized the need for the UN to conduct a comprehensive review of existing practices of the international cooperation system, including the UN Funds, programmes and agencies, the international financial institutions and other international organization, including the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, on their development cooperation with middle income countries, with a view to achieving more effective development cooperation and fostering international support for the development of these countries.