United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation: 12 September 2023

Marcel Crozet, ILO (Haiti textile factory)

Marcel Crozet, ILO (Haiti textile factory)

The United Nations’ Day for South-South Cooperation celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the South and highlights United Nations efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries. The theme for this year is “Solidarity, Equity and Partnership: Unlocking South-South Cooperation to Achieve the SDGs”.


Every year, the United Nations celebrates 12th September as the UN Day for South-South Cooperation. The International Labour Organization (ILO) plays a pivotal role in championing workers’ rights on a global scale, and in an increasingly interconnected world, it recognizes the significance of South-South and Triangular cooperation as a key avenue for achieving its mission.

As part of the celebrations for the UN Day for South-South Cooperation,  today we share how ILO has contributed to establishing the role of South-South collaboration in supporting countries to meet their development goals and to the achievement of the SDGs.

“Global solidarity is essential if we are to achieve the Global Goals by 2030. South-South cooperation is an example of how knowledge exchange and mutual support helps countries meet development challenges, increase resilience, and set a path to greater Social Justice”, affirmed Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of the ILO.

This year the ILO has partnered with the governments of Brazil, China and India to launch new programmes and reaffirm commitments. Funded by the government of Brazil, a programme on South-South Cooperation for Social Justice in the Global South, and a programme on Public Employment Services and Skills development in ASEAN funded by the government of China, have been launched. A project in the Caribbean on skills development and climate change is closing with a new impetus for a second phase through the United Nations India Fund.

During the biennia 2022-2023, the ILO has engaged in 30 projects in all regions covering topics related to unemployment insurance, gender and climate sensitivity, labour migration, formalisation of the informal economy, social protection, occupational safety and health, and apprenticeships systems in different countries of the global south, with focus on cross-regional cooperation.

In the context of the BRICS, the ILO has played a key role in promoting decent work, improving labour standards, and facilitating discussions on informality, skills development, the future of work, and productivity ecosystems in these emerging economies, including through support to the BRICS Ministerial Meetings on Labour and Employment.

The ILO’s involvement with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) has been instrumental in advancing labour rights, social dialogue, and the fight against child labour. It has also strengthened labour inspection through the exchange of experiences and good practices.

Within the framework of the Trilateral Dialogue Forum formed by India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA)  the ILO has promoted, in the past decade, the socioeconomic integration of vulnerable children and youth in Haiti through vocational training, job placement, entrepreneurship, and citizenship development practices for young women and men who have been victims of labour exploitation.

Through its South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives, the ILO facilitates the exchange of good practices, innovative solutions, and technical assistance among countries to ensure decent work and social protection for all and by adhering to the fundamental principles and rights at work.