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Lokendra Sharma asked: What is South-South Cooperation? Also, what do we mean when we say “Global South”?

Chithra Purushothaman replies: The Global North and Global South are geopolitical categories mainly used in the context of development. The term Global South has its origin in the struggle against imperialism, racism, colonialism and the Cold War geopolitics, and these binaries are now also integral to geoeconomics and political economy. They have more or less replaced the geohistoric categories of world development including the West/East and First World/Third World, which projected the nature of global disparities.

The literal meaning of Global South would mean all the countries that are located to the south of Equator. Geographically, it could be referred as countries that are in the Southern Hemisphere and are less developed in comparison to countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In reality, the Global South encompasses the East, the Third World, and both developing and underdeveloped countries, thereby bringing most of Africa, Asia and Latin America into its fold. Their shared political, geographical, cultural, and economic history provides them with a sense of common identity and desire for solidarity.

The South-South Cooperation (SSC) is a term used for increased cooperation and coordination between countries of the Global South. It involves trade, aid, foreign direct investment, technology transfer, creating infrastructure and promoting regional integration in order to achieve economic growth and development of the Global South through concerted efforts. The main tenets of SSC are respect for national sovereignty, non-interference in domestic affairs, non-conditionality, national ownership, equality, and mutual benefit. SSC is instrumental in enhancing the collective ability of the Global South to strengthen their voice and bargaining power vis-à-vis the Global North. Recently, the focus of SSC has been on achieving sustainable development and finding solutions to common development challenges.

Posted on December 14, 2018