UN Day for South-South Cooperation

Date: 12 September 2023
Venue: Rwanda Cooperation Governance Centre
Register Now

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation (SSC) 2023

To highlight the importance of South-South Cooperation, the UN General Assembly has established 12th of September of every year as the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation. This day also commemorates an important event in 1978 when the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (A/C.2/66/L.48).

The theme of the 2023 United Nations Day for SSC is “Solidarity, Equity and Partnership: Unlocking South-South Cooperation to Achieve the SDGs”.

Coming ahead of the SDG Summit, the UN Day for South-South Cooperation creates an opportunity to highlight needs emerging from various regions and to present transformative initiatives undertaken by Member States, the UN System, private sector, and civil society to address the most acute priorities in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Celebrating United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation 2023 in Rwanda

As the agency in the lead of coordinating and mainstreaming Rwanda's South-South Cooperation activities, the Rwanda Cooperation in partnership with the Rome-based agencies: FAO, IFAD and WFP, will celebrate the UN Day for South-South Cooperation 2023. The event will be hybrid - both online and held on 12 September 2023 at the Rwanda Cooperation Governance Centre.

The event will convene development partners, member so the Diplomatic Corps, public institutions and civil society to discuss implementation strategies and share knowledge on to accelerate:

  • Establishment of appropriate mechanisms to mobilize resources;
  • Complementary knowledge sharing and technical assistance;
  • Development of platforms to increase policy dialogue and build capacities;
  • Stakeholder engagement with the private sector, civil society & research institutions.





Opening Session

Welcome note: Fiona Muthoni, CNBC Presenter

Opening remarks: Amb. Christine Nkulikiyinka, CEO, Rwanda Cooperation

Video: Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

Remarks: Mr. David Kaatrud, Director of the Programme and Humanitarian Division (WFP), on behalf of the RBAs

Video: Dr. Gérardine Mukeshimana, IFAD Vice President “Promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation for food system transformation and poverty alleviation”

Remarks: Mr. Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator

Keynote Address: Prof. Nshuti Manasseh, Minister of State in Charge of East African Community

Closing & Introduction of next panel: Ms. Fiona Muthoni, CNBC Presenter


Opening Plenary: UN Day for South-South Cooperation (SSC) - Mobilising multi-stakeholder partnerships to unlock the potential of South-South and Triangular Cooperation

South-South (and Triangular) Cooperation can bring real, high-impact change to global South communities through the mobilisation of financial, technical, and in-kind resources in support of global development agendas such as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The UN Day for SSC was established as an annual platform to highlight the centrality of innovative stakeholder partnerships in convening diverse perspectives, resources, and expertise; and thus, build synergies to help achieve transformational change.

Active stakeholder engagement and sufficient resources are crucial to ensure that demand-driven SSTC programmes can effectively contribute to global development goals. While government agencies and development partners provide the necessary institutional framework and policy support, the private sector contributes resources and innovation.

In the opening plenary session, dedicated to the celebration of the UN Day for SSC, the panel will:

  • explore modalities through which a range of stakeholders can pool their technical and financial resources to support the implementation of innovative development projects
  • provide recommendations on how to more effectively implement SSTC interventions, ensuring that they are complementary rather than competing.

Moderator: Ms. Fiona Muthoni, CNBC Presenter


  • Mr. Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator
  • Mr. Ronald Hartman, Director for Global Engagement, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization (IFAD)
  • Amb. Christine Nkulikiyinka, CEO, Rwanda Cooperation




Plenary: Leveraging SSTC partnerships toward achieving zero hunger: A case for Home-Grown School Feeding Programmes

The global community is currently grappling with a surge in poverty and food insecurity that has eroded years of development milestones. According to WFP, more than 345 million people across 79 countries will be acutely food insecure in 2023, and the prevalence of undernourishment is also on the rise.

Climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing conflicts will exacerbate this situation and cause global food supplies to plummet to a three-year low in 2023. More than ever before, alternative and dedicated financial resources are needed to combat this situation and help to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); in the face of funding gaps in Official Development Assistance (ODA).

During the 2023 UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2), UN Member States reaffirmed their engagement towards transforming the world's food systems and tackling the consequences of existing and emerging crises. School feeding programmes is one of the ways in which governments are actively addressing the educational, health, and nutritional challenges of school-going children and contributing significantly to food systems transformation.

Recognizing the importance of this initiative, the UN Rome-based Agencies (RBAs - FAO, IFAD, and WFP), united by their shared mission of ensuring food security for all, have joined to support national Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes. The collaboration aims at leveraging the comparative strengths of each of the agencies to support national school feeding interventions, drawing on lessons from other developing countries.

Through a pilot in four countries (Kenya, The Philippines, Rwanda, and Senegal), the RBAs are working together to strengthen country capacities to design and implement national HGSF programmes by facilitating SSTC, in line with the UN Food Systems Summit outcome, the Global School Meals Coalition, and the 2018 Joint RBA Roadmap Towards BAPA+40, that is currently under revision. More partners are needed to support this project in order to assist countries in improving their home-grown school feeding programmes.

This Plenary Session will bring together Member State representatives, academia, international organizations, IFIs, private sector and CSO representatives to explore and support funding mechanisms that will enable the RBAs to expand the impact and reach of national home-grown school feeding programmes.

Moderator: Ms. Vanja Karanovic, Programme Policy Officer, WFP


Special Interventions: Pilot project country representatives

  • FAO – Dr. Makhfousse SARR, Head of Program and Assistant FAO Representative (Virtual)
  • IFAD – Mr. Dagmawi Habte-Selassie, IFAD Country Director, Burundi and Rwanda
  • WFP – Ms. Carola Kenngott, Head - Country Capacity Strengthening, WFP Country Office, Kenya


  • Eng. Pascal Gatabazi, Technical Advisor, Minister of Education, Rwanda
  • Mr. David Kaatrud, Director of the Programme and Humanitarian Division (WFP), on behalf of the RBAs
  • Mr. Amath Pathé Sene, Managing Director, Africa Green Revolution Forum




Plenary: Institutional capacity building for South-South and Triangular Cooperation

The global landscape of development cooperation has changed drastically. Countries of the South are engaging in collaborative learning models to share innovative, adaptable and cost-efficient solutions to address their development challenges.

Conscious that effective cooperation should go far beyond financial contributions and North- South technical assistance, a large and expanding group of Middle- and Low-Income Countries (MICs and LICs) are creating new and innovative responses to their socio-economic-environmental challenges, ranging from poverty and education to climate change, post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

This changing context is allowing the emergence of a paradigm where “Horizontal Partnerships”, based on equity, trust, mutual benefit and long-term relations, become an alternative way to do development cooperation. However, due to the evolving and diversified nature of SSTC, gaps in institutional capacity, the lack of financing and information mechanisms, and uncoordinated interventions, a number of developing countries are unable to fully benefit from SSTC.

In this session, the panel of distinguished experts will discuss and debate institutional, national and international policy frameworks and strategies that will accelerate the formation and impact of SSTC partnerships to:

  • Harness political commitment from high-level authorities for the sustainability of South-South co-operation;
  • Scale-up and diversify partnerships;
  • Promote endogenous capacity development to boost reforms at the institutional and policy levels in the countries involved.

Moderator: Mr. Osten Chulu, UNDP Rwanda


  • Mr. Ye Anping, Director of SSTC Division (FAO)
  • Mr. Philani Mthembu, Executive Director, Institute for Global Dialogue
  • Ms. Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, IFAD



Video: Messages from around the world

Remarks: Mr. Ye Anping, Director of SSTC Division (FAO)

Remarks: Mr. Ronald Hartman, Director for Global Engagement, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization (IFAD)

Remarks: Amb. Christine Nkulikiyinka, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Cooperation


Networking Lunch