19 December is United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
17 December, 2010 - 19 December is United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation. The date refers to the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Plan of Action of Buenos Aires Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, in 1978. Cooperation and collaboration based on mutual interests, peaceful coexistence, respect for national sovereignty, non interference in internal affairs and equality between partners are the guiding principles of South-South Cooperation.
Since 1955, during the Bandung Conference, South hemisphere developing countries try to establish mechanisms to minimize the inequalities in global power in relations to the North in order to reduce poverty and promote development.
Currently, more than thirty years after the Buenos Aires Conference, South-South Cooperation is increasingly present in global economy through social development projects, economic relations and trade between the southern hemisphere countries and may serve to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Southern countries have increased their participation in the global economy, such as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), known as the 'middle income countries'. India is emerging as a leader in the relations of South-South cooperation. But other countries like Venezuela are also highlighted as key actors in assistance programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Regional blocs like Mercosur and UNASUR also try to strengthen ties of cooperation in the region, based on historical and cultural affinities. The development efforts in Haiti, for example, show the interest of countries in regional development.
In the Southern Cone, the best example of South-South cooperation is Brazil. As part of a national strategy based on the logic of solidarity and cooperation with developing countries in the southern hemisphere, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency carries out joint initiatives with international organizations for the transference of technology, best practices and information . For Brazil, South-South Cooperation has an important place in foreign policy, characterizing it as an instrument of rapprochement, integration and solidarity among countries of South America, the Caribbean and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
With the support of UNODC, Brazil has trained over 100 foreign officials, including police agents of Mercosur and Portuguese-speaking countries in the field of combating transnational organized crime. The integration project of officers, judicial officials and South-South Cooperation experts was created in late 2007, during the International Conference on Drug Trafficking in Lisbon, organized by UNODC.
The country has also intensified its work with African countries. In Guinea Bissau, for example, a project in partnership with UNODC is helping to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement through the creation of a training center for security forces in the African country. The aim is to improve and train the security forces in Guinea Bissau, in the context of implementing the National Plan to Combat Drugs and Crime, which also has the support of UNODC. According to r ecent world drug reports produced by UNODC, countries in West Africa, and Guinea Bissau have served as a connecting route for smuggling drugs into Europe.