First Arab States Regional South-South Development EXPO in Doha, Qatar. 18-20 February 2014


With the motto “Solutions to Action”, the first Arab States Regional South-South Development Expo, hosted by the State of Qatar and co-organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Arab States, raised regional awareness by showcasing and scaling up the impact of successful evidence-based solutions crafted and tested by countries in the Arab States region in addressing development challenges pertinent to their specific needs and aspirations.

“Delivering as one”, the Expo featured solution exchange forums led by a number of United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes that are active in advancing the South-South cooperation agenda in the Arab States region, including ESCWA, IFAD, ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO and UN-Women.

Highlights of the Expo include:

  • 100+ concrete South-South development solutions showcased during 7 major forums, 5 special sessions, and at a physical solutions exhibition;
  • 67 private sector entities mobilized by the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE);
  • 11 solution providers matched with seekers of solutions in the areas of food security, water, waste management, construction, social entrepreneurship, and clean energy;
  • 6 working arrangements established, 4 with businesswomen’s associations, to source successful local development solutions;
  • A project employing South-South Cooperation modalities to strengthen Somalia’s education and health care infrastructures, and improve the livelihood of thousands of displaced, unemployed men, women and youth was launched;
  • An MOU between the Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum and SS-GATE to scale up development success in the Arab States region was signed.



In light of the rapid growth in diversity of development actors, particularly from the South, the international aid architecture is changing considerably. The contribution of South-South Cooperation to development is thus catching more and more attention in the international arena. South-South Cooperation is viewed as a valuable and essential complement to North-South Cooperation. It is in this context that triangular cooperation is gaining additional importance. For the countries in the Arab States Region going through the political transition it means broader opportunities for creating partnerships and coalitions among their development stakeholders. Serving as a potential bridge between the North-South and South-South Cooperation systems, triangular cooperation provides a unique learning opportunity for all actors involved.