At the Global South-South Expo, organized by the UN in Washington DC on December 14-17, 2009, the World Bank Group called for a global platform to systematically facilitate south-south exhanges and coooperation.
According to the World Bank Group, the goal of the development community should be to have the ability to systematically connect practitioners to each other, just-in-time and anytime, across countries and regions, so that they can collaborate to identify, share, adapt and adopt the development solutions that will work for them.
In order to achieve that goal, the World Bank Group wants to stimulate, through inclusive partnerships, the development of a global platform, or one-stop-shop, that can elicit and broker the demand for and the supply of concrete development experiences. The platform needs to be complemented by the right funding mechanisms that cater to the needs of both the Lower Income Countries and the Middle Income Countries.
Sanjay Pradhan, Vice-President of the World Bank Institute, explained during the Opening Ceremony of the event how the demand for South-South Cooperation and Knowledge Exchange is growing by the day. "Development solutions work better when they are designed and implemented with the help of peers who face, or have recently faced, similar challenges. When done well, South-South exchanges can be a strong driver to help address global challenges and to catalyze true local capacity, ownership and mutual accountability, thus leading to more sustainable development results in our partner countries."
The World Bank also reiterated its strong commitment to the international processes that are under way to stimulate and better understand what works and does not work in South-South Cooperation. It expressed support to Colombia’s leadership in the international Task Team on South-South Cooperation and welcomed the complementarity with the important work undertaken by the Development Cooperation Forum, hosted by the UN ECOSOC.
"Only by understanding the dynamics of South-South cooperation and by embedding them in the global development agenda, we will be able to successfully scale up our efforts to achieve a more equitable and effective development cooperation landscape", according to Sanjay Pradhan.
The World Bank has recently stepped up its efforts to coordinate its contribution to the South-South agenda through the creation of a dedicated unit within the World Bank Institute. Mr Pradhan announced that "the World Bank Group is now ready and willing to play an active connector role to help increase the quality, the quantity and the relevance of South-South exchanges. We need to scale up our efforts."