South-South cooperation helps Africa develop

22 de junho de 2016

São Paulo – South-South cooperation was recommended by the United Nations as a tool for sustainable development in Africa and elsewhere, in a report released this Wednesday (22) at an African Union meeting in Botswana. Social Protection for Sustainable Development: Dialogues between Africa and Brazil is a publication of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s World Centre for Sustainable Development, the RIO+ Centre and the UNDP’s Regional Service Centre for Africa.

The report stresses that social protection programs are key in fighting poverty and hunger, as shown by countries that achieved substantial progress in this regard, such as Brazil, Ethiopia and Senegal. “These and other examples clearly show that social protection has the potential to contribute significantly to long-term sustainable development,” the report reads.

The UNDP describes Brazilian experiences and the country’s cooperative actions designed to assist African nations with implementing their own social programs. It makes recommendations for the building of social safety nets as a means of achieving sustainable development, such as strengthening cooperation between developing countries. The report points out that such exchange creates valuable opportunities, experience exchange, and debate on successful practices, as well as helping overcoming common initial issues.

The UN calls on a broadening of the traditional social protection agenda, with wider-reaching actions that will yield results and enable sustainable change in the long run. It advises measures such as making social protection a basic human right, so that it can stand on its own and thrive even through economic crises. The report also suggests adapting social protection measures to local contexts, acting to increase resilience in the event of natural disasters, economic crises, food price hikes, political instability etc.

It adds that social protection must take environmental concerns into consideration, since people in social vulnerability status are often reliant on subsistence farming and extractive activities, and are therefore strongly affected by natural disasters. It claims governments must earmark financing for social measures in their budgets and ascribe them priority status, among other actions.

The report is in keeping with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development put in place last year by UN member countries at the General Assembly in New York, with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum