Non- Aligned Movement’s Emphasis on South- South Cooperation

South-South Cooperation (SSC) refers to cooperation activities among the developing countries on the basis of solidarity in a number of areas, including trade and investment, financial, technical and technological cooperation and the sharing of knowledge, experiences, policies and best practices. The evolution of the phenomenon can be attributed primarily to the initiatives of the Non- Aligned Movement since its inception and its history dates back to the post-war decolonization period, particularly to the Asian-African Conference (Bandung Conference) held in Indonesia in 1955, followed by the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1961 and the Group of 77 (G77) in 1964. Regional cooperation among the counties of the global South brings many of the same benefits as multilateralism but on a smaller scale. First, it enables participating developing countries to overcome the small size of their domestic markets and achieve economies of scale and greater specialization in production, thus increasing the competitiveness of their products. Secondly, access to a larger market enables developing countries both to expand existing industries and to set up new export industries, diversifying exports and reducing their vulnerability to setbacks in a specific product market. Thirdly, regional cooperation can enhance the capacity of developing countries to meet emerging challenges, including the application of new technologies. Fourthly, it is increasingly clear that regional trade facilitation measures offer significant benefits by reducing the costs of transactions across international borders and removing non-border obstacles.
Two major United Nations Conferences on South- South Cooperation have aptly identified the importance, basic parameter and scope of South-South Cooperation. The First Conference was held in Buenos Aires in 1978 and produced Plan of Action which provided a conceptual underpinning and practical guidelines for realizing the objectives of technical cooperation among developing countries. The main objective of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among developing countries through exchanges of experience, the pooling, sharing and utilization of their technical resources, and the development of their complementary capacities. The High Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation held in Nairobi in 2009 highlighted the growing political and economic ties within the developing world, as countries from the South assumed leading roles in addressing vital global issues, ranging from economic recovery to food security and climate change. The Nairobi Conference defined the basic parameters of South-South Cooperation and stipulated that South-South cooperation is a common endeavour of peoples and countries of the South, born out of shared experiences and sympathies, based on their common objectives and solidarity, and guided by, inter alia, the principles of respect for national sovereignty and ownership, free from any conditionalities. It goes beyond saying that the NAM Member states were the major drivers in both the Buenos Aires and the Nairobi conferences.
The Non-Aligned movement realizes the tremendous potential of regional cooperation among developing countries and since its inception has stressed the importance and need for the same. The leaders of NAM have underscored that regional and sub-regional arrangements and agencies, composed of Non-Aligned and other developing countries are important for promotion of regional peace and security as well as economic and social development through cooperation among countries in the region. Thus, the movement takes cognizance of the importance of synergy between regional and sub-regional initiatives to ensure complementarity and the added value of each process towards their common goals, such as political stability, economic growth, and social and cultural development.
NAM Member Countries all over the world have realized that South- South Cooperation reflects the principles of solidarity and mutual benefit and as such have made arrangements and devised mechanisms for effective regional co-operation. In Africa, there has been a thrust to develop an overarching development framework, structured through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and its various initiatives. Designated as the technical body of the African Union, the core mandate of the NEPAD Agency is to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of regional and continental priority programmes and projects and to push for partnerships, resource mobilization and research and knowledge management. The agenda of the NEPAD Agency includes promoting enhanced state capacity in Africa to drive the continental development processes and assisting in creating an enabling environment to stimulate private sector engagement for sustainable growth and development, including implementing investment programmes and projects. Another example of regional cooperation among the NAM Member States is the East Asia and Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), which is the only forum between East Asia and Latin America to enhance mutual understanding and trust and to increase political, economic, social and cultural ties and dialogue. In conclusion, it can be said that regional cooperation among the developing countries of the global South is an important mechanism to promote cooperation and partnership , and devise a framework to framework that includes an effective collaboration among such states to meet individual as well as common global challenges. In this regards, the role of NAM member countries cannot be undermined.

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