Nairobi Statement On A People's Collaborative Agenda On South South Cooperation

CSO Nairobi Declaration

On the

Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation - Buenos Aires, Argentina


1. We, the Participants at the Pan African CSO conference on “The Road to Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation under the theme African CSO Voice Towards A People’s collaborative Agenda on South - South Co-operation ’ held in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th – 31st January 2019

2. Having come together as African Civil Society Organisations, women’s organisations, labour unions, faith based groups, youth and children and networks, in the spirit of solidarity and partnership and as key actors in the South – South Development Co-operation from 25 African countries with over 500 million citizens of Africa to consolidate our position in our preparation to the second High Level Meeting ;

3. Supportive of the collective position under the African political priorities for South-South Co-operation focused on the critical areas of regional dimension for South – South Co-operation, democratic ownership and citizen participation in mutual learning, and support for horizontal and triangular partnerships;

4. Reaffirming that if the citizens of Africa are to see transformational and sustainable change in quality of life, Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, must place Africa’s priority for development, gender equality, youth and children’s empowerment, at the centre of its focus in the agenda.

5. Concerned that the current state of the South-South Co-operation has failed to address important issues including conflict and political instability, conditionality, debt crisis, illicit financial flows, migration, domestic accountability, citizen participation and shrinking civic space;

6. Concerned that Africa loses over USD 50 billion every year through illicit financial flows (IFFs), we urge governments to address the systemic global inequalities in the south, unfair tax regimes, tax evasion, trafficking, illegal dealings and corruption that fuel IFFs in the South.

7. Noted that the principles from the Nairobi outcome document on UN South South and triangular co-operation principles remain critical for multistakeholder development in the implementation of nationally aligned SDGs as well as result measurement framework. SSC principle on Results based outcomes and mutual accountability must be consistent and aligned with the National Development Plans and their respective Results Frameworks for impact;

8. Recalled that the main objective for the adoption of the Nairobi outcome document embraced a multi-stakeholder approach, including non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and other actors that contribute to meeting development challenges and objectives in line with national development strategies and plans.

9. Noted with concern the lack of citizen ownership of the South-South Co-operation agenda, and the shrinking space for civil society in the global south and urge governments to recognize and promote Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as critical actors in achieving all aspects of South-South Cooperation and Agenda 2030


1. Underscore the importance of South–South Co-operation in promoting Africa’s integration and development; free movement of people, as well as movement of goods and services is critical to SSC but also in making Africa integrated as articulated in the Agenda 2063 and the African Common Market Free Trade Area.

2. We call upon African governments to undertake a mapping of the potential of intra African trade. African countries and partners should invest more in implementing regional coordinating mechanisms especially the Abuja Treaty and the Lagos Plan of Action to spur development effectiveness.

3. We call for action to curb both supply and demand elements of illicit financial flows and deepen analysis of the revenue and social impact economic free zones and tax incentives on extractive industries in Africa and particularly in countries experiencing fragility and conflict.

4. Urge that the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation outcome promotes the attainment of the SDG agenda relevant to Africa’s needs as captured in Agenda 2063 and promote human rights based approach to, as well as social and environmental justice in its strategy and activities;

5. Further Note that South-South Cooperation was yet to lead to behavioral change and investment necessary for Africa’s transformative agenda and was instead leading to new debt build ups, environmental degradation, illicit financial flows and lacking in domestic accountability

6. Urge for SSC to adopt a horizontal approach towards its co-operation with a monitoring framework for South–South Cooperation reflecting the uniqueness of South-South Cooperation for political accountability and Call for a political agreement on citizen participation and consultation with all stakeholders in its development agenda

7. Call for the strengthening of the country statistical capacity and institutional framework on data collection, use and publication on the development impact of South-South Cooperation

Key Priorities of African CSOs for South South Co-operation

We underscore that at the centre of South – South co-operation should be a more systematic improvement of individual and institutional capacity, supported by enabling policy frameworks; focusing on the harnessing of local capacities and strengthening of Africa’s development finance institutions, African research institutions and universities towards adding value to the Continent’s abundant natural resources.

1. Adopt a people Relevant South- South and Triangular Co-operation

The current model of South – South Co-operation is based on unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, privatization of public services, exploitation of women’s labour poor working conditions, and indecent work. Furthermore citizen have not been incorporated in the SSC agenda despite their importance in the achievement of SDGs. South - South Co-operation investments remains disconnected from the major sectors of the economy where majority of the citizens are found with major focus being restricted to public physical infrastructure and extractive industries.

With this in mind, we:

• Demand that SSC investments pursue the development agenda that put peoples´ rights first and aligns to other progressive instruments for food security including; the Maputo Declaration on food and agriculture and key sectors where majority of citizen are found,

• We call for Policies that ensure decent work based on employment opportunities, respect for labor rights, social protection, and social dialogue. We demand that SSC adheres to the principles of democratic ownership, transparency and accountability, inclusivity and development results

• We call for an integrated approach to the SSC Partnerships with governments committing resources for facilitating CSO capacity building in monitoring the development impact of SSC investments and capital flows. African countries must develop South-South cooperation strategies that are mainstreamed into their national development plans including through the establishment of South-South Cooperation coordination units at national, regional and continental levels.

• Urge for deepening of the participation of women and girls as key development actors in the development, review, monitoring and implementation of development policies

• We oblige all the development actors to prioritize financing for gender equality and women’s rights including financing Women’s Rights Organisations especially from the Global South.

• Note that provision of essential services such as health, education, housing, water and clean energy remained a core responsibility of the government to the majority of the poor of Africa and not to be outsourced to southern based private sector and urged African governments to exercise caution in developing Public Private Partnership arrangements on the provision of social services and public goods by companies

• Recognise the important role of the African domestic private sector and called for its support including through the creation of an enabling environment, facilitation of access to resources and capacity development.

2. Create Multi-stakeholder partnerships and Enabling Environment

Multistakeholder partnerships and creation of enabling environment for non state actors particularly civil society remain in important in the achievement of SDGs and the realization of the leave no one behind principle. Strong legal and institutional framework is needed to set requirements to ensure inclusive partnerships and democratic ownership in the development agenda of south – South Co-operation. In this regard we

• Create enabling environment for civil society operation and engagement with the South – South Co-operation initiatives

• Ensure diverse representation from the civil society and in the design and implementation of national development strategies; They should include CSOs in the advisory or decision-making bodies of their governments

• Provide access to information for effective multi-stakeholder dialogue. Urge governments to remove practical road-blocks including through institutional processes, which undermine CSO access to the correct, requested information on a timely basis.

• Commit to addressing the shrinking civic space for civil society Organisations

3. Address the Illicit Financial Flows in the South

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) continue to pose development challenges for many countries of Africa. The continent currently loses over 50 billion dollars in illicit financial flows, resources that could contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and agenda 2063 when put into good use. Given the global nature of this menace, we call upon the Africa countries and countries of the South to play their role in ceiling the loop holes contributing the IFFs.

We specifically;

• Strengthen the capacity of Southern Countries including through setting up and running training facilities for tax administrators on trade mispricing; commodity tax evasion; secretive investment vehicles, drugs and arms transfers smugglings, money laundering, shelve companies, tackling corruption.

• Strengthen and deepen Co-operation on information sharing system and enact appropriate legislation to fight Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)

• Strengthen citizen and CSO capacities to demand accountability from duty bearers including the owners of the companies.

• Create and operate an observatory to monitor Illicit Financial flows within the framework of the South-South Cooperation

• Implement the core outcome recommendations on the Thambo Mbeki High panel report on IFFs.

4. Address Youth Empowerment

Youth and Children make the majority of the population and hold the key to the future of sustainable development realization. Governments and regional economic blocs are called upon to develop trade policies that are responsive to youth entrepreneurs and create enabling environment for the youth and children as important development actors.

We hereby

• Demand for supporting young people as partners in development and establishing structures that promote meaningful participation of youth. Urged for governments to put in place mechanisms for monitoring progress on measures taken to support youth in development and commitments to the SSC conference outcome on youth

• Urge for trade and investment policies at regional and national levels to be friendly to young women and youth investors/entrepreneurs.

• Reiterate that investment in children has high economic and social returns, which will have future positive outcomes for women and youth and all segments of the human populations in the South.

• Urge governments to ensure that national budgets are child sensitive, through the involvement of children and child focused organizations in the budgeting cycle.

We commit ourselves to the following:

1. Undertake to engage fully with the forthcoming second High Level Meeting to promote and champion the interests and concerns of the African citizens.

1. Organize impactful event to deliver the Africa Civil Society Common Position for the second High Level Meeting

2. Popularize and strengthen a national platform to monitor the implementation of Buenos Aires outcome on the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

3. Continue to work with all government and other development partners in building capacity of all partners to engage meaningfully in the South-South Cooperation agenda across Africa