United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Cities Project 2020 Highlights
In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations Office for SouthSouth Cooperation (hereafter as “UNOSSC”, named as “Special Unit for Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries” at that time), an independent entity mandated to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the United Nations system. Guided by the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, and under the direct leadership of Envoy of Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, UNOSSC provides support to Member States, intergovernmental organizations, and United Nations agencies in the areas of policy advocacy and coordination, strategy research, knowledge sharing, technology exchange, capacity building, and innovative South-South Cooperation projects, to facilitate the partnership building and resource mobilization for the South-South and triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development. UNDP has been entrusted by the United Nations General Assembly to provide budgetary and operational support to the UNOSSC since its inception.
In 2017, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) initiated the SSTC among Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities for Sustainable Development Project (Cities Project) with the support of the Government of China. The Cities Project aims to promote SSTC at the city level leveraging comparative advantages of UN specialized agencies and the strategic opportunities offered by the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Cities Project aligns its support with the engagement and ownership of local authorities and stakeholders. It is designed to provide streamlined services which include demand-driven needs assessment, capacity development, advisory and advocacy, knowledge, expertise, and technology transfer and implementation and co-financing support to pilots for demonstration purposes.
In 2020, the project team completed six online needs surveys to understand development priorities needs, capacity development demands, and collaboration interests among cities and institutional partners. These surveys received approx. 4,100 valid responses from local and national government officials, city-related organizations, IGOs, CSOs, etc., and helped the team identify potential city partners and deepened understanding of key development priorities.