Background Info

High Level Committee

History

The governing body of the Special Unit is the High-Level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation (SSC), a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly (GA), comprised of representatives of all countries participating in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It originates from recommendation 37 of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), which was endorsed by General Assembly Resolution 33/134 of 19 December 1978.

After 1980 and 1981, the Committee, previously known as the High-level meeting on TCDC has met biennially to undertake an overall intergovernmental review of technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) within the United Nations development system. In its resolution 35/202 of 16 December 1980, the General Assembly decided to change the name of the high-level meeting to “High-level Committee on the Review of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries” and requested the Administrator of UNDP to convene future sessions of the Committee under the same organizational and procedural arrangements as had been made for the high-level meeting.

In its resolution 58/220, the General Assembly decided to change the name of the Committee to the “High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation”. The Committee retained its original mandate and scope of its activities.



HLC/GA Secretariat

The Special Unit for South-South cooperation serves as the substantive Secretariat of the High-level Committee. Functions:

General Assembly Resolution 35/202 of 16 December 1980 established that the functions of the High-Level Committee will be the same as those outlined in recommendation 37 of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for promoting and Implementing Technical Co-operation among Developing Countries:

  1. Reviewing the progress made in implementing the tasks entrusted to the United Nations development system by the Buenos Aires Plan of Action;
  2. Ensuring that efforts to strengthen TCDC are sustained within the United Nations development system;
  3. Supporting new policies and innovative approaches to further the development of TCDC;
  4. Considering the availability of financial resources and their effective use by the United Nations development system, without prejudice to existing programmes;
  5. Ensuring co-ordination of the promotional and operational TCDC activities of the United Nations development system.



Organization of Sessions

The sessions of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation have followed the format and working methods introduced at the eleventh session of the Committee, held in May 1999, which include the following:

  1. A half-day organizational meeting to be held not later than three weeks before the biennial session of the Committee. The organizational meeting will elect the Bureau of the Committee and adopt the provisional agenda and programme of work;
  2. A general debate on:
    1. the review of progress made in implementing the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, the new directions strategy for technical cooperation among developing countries and the decisions of the High-level Committee;
    2. the consideration of reports of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

The duration of the general debate will be limited to three plenary meetings and will conclude at the end of the morning meeting of the second day of the session. More specifically:

  1. A list of speakers will be opened at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Special Unit for South-South Cooperation usually a month before the meeting and closed the day before the opening session;
  2. In accordance with the working methods of the Committee, statements in the general debate will be limited to 8 minutes for representatives of member States and 6 minutes for other participants. To ensure that this limit is respected, the President will switch on the red light when the time limit is reached;
  3. To save time, several States or groups of States sharing common positions may wish to consider presenting joint statements. Delegations wishing to have statements circulated to all participants are requested to provide 300 copies to the secretariat, which will arrange for their circulation in the language or languages received;
  4. To make the debate interactive, the President may request the Director of the Unit to respond, from time to time, as appropriate, to observations and suggestions made by delegations during the debate and will subsequently invite comments from the floor, either on the Director’s response or on the issues raised in the statements of respective delegations;
  5. A recent additional feature of the Committee’s deliberations is a thematic discussion, including presentations by various experts on the selected theme. This format is designed to stimulate interactive exchanges among delegations and between delegations and the secretariat. The recommendations emanating from the thematic discussion will also be incorporated in the report of the Committee and, as appropriate, reflected in its decisions;
  6. The session will be scheduled for a duration of four days prior to the annual session of the Executive Board of the UNDP/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  7. On the basis of the views and suggestions expressed during the debate, the Working Group will meet as of the third working day of the session to elaborate draft decisions and recommendations.



HLC/GA Bureau

Each session of the High-Level Committee is presided over by a president assisted by a bureau that consists of members chosen from each of the regional groups.

Current officials of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation

View past officials of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation: here



Participation

Participants at the HLC include UN member states and observers, UN organizations and agencies, as well as inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and accredited non-governmental organizations.

 
United Nations South-South Cooperation
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