The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commenced preparations for the high level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Kampala next February, the first time it will be held in Africa since its inception 40 years ago.
The ministry's Permanent Secretary, Mr Patrick Mugoya, told Daily Monitor yesterday that Shs20b to facilitate organisaton of the conference, which is expected to draw delegates from 134 countries, was provided for in this financial year's budget.
"By far, this is the biggest conference Uganda is hosting, so it is important that we prepare well," Mr Mugoya said. "Last month, I sent a team to New York to interface with the South-South Secretariat on how to move forward."
South-South Cooperation (SSC) is an alternative development strategy for developing countries, also known as countries of the Global South, to promote a new way to support their growth rate based on the potential of their internal market.
The Global South is a term coined by the World Bank to refer to countries located in Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Latin America, considered to be of low and middle income.
SSC has its roots in the 1955 Bandung Conference, the first large scale Africa-Asia conference, held in Indonesia to support anti-colonial struggles of the time.
Subsequently, in 1978, the UN established a unit for South-South Cooperation to promote trade and collaboration within its agencies. On the basis of geographical scale, South America too was added to the framework, known as South America-Africa.
Uganda's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, whose mandate as president of the SSC high level committee was extended in May, told Daily Monitor from New York that "it is a good opportunity for Uganda to steer the UN development agenda".
Delegates from development countries such as Japan and European Union are also expected to attend the conference.
The first SSC conference was held in the same year in the Argentine capital.
Today, the SSC is a subsidiary of the United Nations General Assembly, the gathering of the 193 UN member countries
The first meeting of the SSC was held in Cuba and the second in Qatar. The meeting in Kampala next year will be the third.