Submission to the Global Digital Compact
Apply Human Rights Online
Geneva, April 2023
The South Centre’s Board approved in September 2022 its Programme of Work 2023-2025 where the policy dimensions of digital transformation are highlighted as one of the priority areas for developing countries, including the need to harness digital technologies in education, health and the production of goods and services, support the development of a domestic digital industry, improve their digital infrastructure, advance digital equity and inclusion, effectively tax the digital companies and contribute to shaping the digital governance architecture to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Following the call made in the Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations (A/RES/75/1) for improved digital cooperation, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and his report ‘Our Common Future’, the South Centre submits the following written contribution to the UN Secretary General ahead to the Summit of the Future with the objective of providing support to developing countries in the intergovernmental process concerning the digital transformation.
Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Reducing Poverty and Hunger, and Promoting Rural Development
By Yuefen Li, Daniel Uribe and Danish
The world is experiencing unprecedented global multidimensional crises that have increased poverty, hunger and food insecurity, with the sharpest impacts being felt among rural areas and communities. Deepening international cooperation is essential to help developing countries face economic headwinds and recover from lasting scars of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-induced natural disasters. In this scenario, scaling up of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) can play a critical role in catalyzing sustainable development initiatives in developing and least developed countries.
This policy brief therefore considers how SSTC can be effectively leveraged for undertaking initiatives on poverty alleviation, hunger reduction and rural development through strengthening of national SSTC institutional setups. It also explores how SSTC can facilitate increased coordination among stakeholders, and considers areas for fostering mutually beneficial initiatives between developing countries. This brief then focuses on the institutional setup for SSTC in some selected countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and considers their role in mainstreaming of SSTC. It further considers some recent experiences from developing countries that use SSTC modalities, outlining important initiatives which could be shared with partners to support poverty alleviation, food security and rural development efforts. Finally, the brief provides some important conclusions and lessons learned which can support developing countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
Written Statement at the Workshop on Promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
Measurement and elimination of global poverty and inequalities
Carlos Correa, Executive Director, South Centre
7 February 2023
Organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Escaping the Fragility/Conflict Poverty Trap: How the interaction between service delivery, capacity development and institutional transformation drives the process of transition out of fragility
By Mamadou Dia
The main background and rationale of this research paper is that while donors’ scaled-up engagements in Fragility and Conflict-affected States (FCS) during the last decades were a resounding success in terms of official development resources devoted to FCS, the value for money compared to the ultimate goal of helping these countries move out of fragility was well below expectations. The World Bank ex post evaluation of the results of its engagement in FCS found that 80 percent of FCS that were on the harmonized list of fragile situations in 2012 remain on it today and the author’s observational study of a sample of 16 African FCS over a 5-year period found that only 1 made progress while 12 stayed in the status quo and 3 regressed. The main reason for the poor value for money is that while International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have spent tremendous amount of resources and brain power to build an excellent knowledge base about fragility and resilience, no such efforts were made to help understand the process and stages for a successful transition from fragility to resilience. The purpose of this paper is to help fill the knowledge gap in order to encourage development partners engaging in FCS to shift from a Fragility-focused to a Transition-based Engagement Business Model and thus minimize the risks of the poor value for money results. The paper will do so by outlining a methodology and framework for a better understanding of the process and a road map for a successful transition from fragility to resilience with measurable stage/sign posts and benchmarks to evaluate progress and necessary adaptation to donors’ strategic and operational support instruments.
Addressing Food Insecurity and Climate Change for Poverty Reduction in the Horn of Africa
By Ali Issa Abdi
This article provides an assessment of the impact of food insecurity and climate change on poverty reduction in the Horn of Africa (HoA), which is one of the most affected regions in the world by these interlinked challenges. The region is confronted by these interconnected and mutually reinforcing negative conditions, which are compounded by institutional constraints, insecurity and scarce financial resources. Consequently, to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty in all its forms by 2030, it is imperative to implement urgent and radical transformation of food production systems, and to adopt accelerated and scaled up global actions to strengthen resilience and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes.
Development Priorities for Africa in 2021 and Beyond
By Judith Amelia Louis
The author posits that Covid-19 is not the only major problem facing the global South and Africa in particular, although it is the most pressing for the times 2020-2021. The writer attempts to present important priority areas for attention by policymakers and decision makers at the national and regional levels in Africa within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The paper recognizes that the social, economic, and political problems facing Africa are common to all its nation States and calls upon the African Union to play a more proactive role in shaping policy programs to address these persistent problems, including the crafting of statesmen genuinely committed to ‘people-centered development’. The article discusses the issues impacting select priorities of socio-economic welfare; improved governance; human capital investment; regularization of migration and stemming the ‘brain drain’. Suggested policy actions are prescribed as solutions towards achieving development. Urgent action in controlling their economies with the acquisition and retention of requisite skills and technology is the undertone of the paper given the picture of poverty characterizing basic needs data for the continent. For example, in the health sector there are shortages of medical personnel, a situation magnified by the Covid pandemic.
The author envisions Africa’s development utilizing its vast untapped potential including, inter alia, a young population.
The Right to Development and its Role in International Economic Law
By Olasupo Owoeye
This paper provides a brief discussion on the right to development and examines some of the criticisms often raised against its significance as a cognizable human right. The paper argues that the principles encapsulated in the right to development represent the foundational principles of the international legal order. The right to development is therefore both a human right and an economic right. Thus, the principles it embodies are not only incorporated into the International Bill of Human Rights, they are also well reflected in World Trade Organization agreements and the field of international economic law. The paper argues that the right to development can play an important role in the interpretation and enforcement of rights under international economic law.
Development-led Globalization Requires De-colonizing the MDGs
The big attraction of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or at least the first seven of these, was their near universal acceptability. It mobilized both resources and politics, both nationally and internationally, in pursuit of reducing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, malnutrition and disease.