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Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
Towards effective south south cooperation
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Towards effective south south cooperation

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  • to foster national self-reliance of developing countries through the enhancement of their creative capacity to find solutions to their development problems in keeping with their own aspirations, values and special needs; to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among developing countries through the exchanging of experience, the pooling, sharing and utilization of their technical resources and the development of their complementary capacities; to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to identify and analyze together the main issues of their development and to formulate the requisite; and to strengthen existing technological capacities in the developing countries, in order to improve the effectiveness, to create new capacities and capabilities and to improve the capacity of developing countries for the absorption and adaptation of technology and skills to meet their specific developmental needs.
  • The principal value added arising from South-South Cooperation is its contribution to developing and strengthening capacities between partners in a horizontal relationship where both parties benefit from sharing. This has been exemplified by Cuba and Suriname through the Health sector cooperation. Cuba has the opportunity to export its medical expertise and gain international recognition and solidarity, while Suriname is able to address its shortages on medical staff and secure medical care for its population in remote and underserved areas.In addition to capacity-building, development occurs through the exchange of know-how, technologies and experiences insofar as they strengthen human and institutional resources as well as national cooperation systems, encourage the production and use of local knowledge, skills and expertise and promote the systematization and analysis of successful experiences. In this sense, SSC constitutes an ideal vehicle that helps strengthen national ownership and leadership in developing countries. Under the SSC the exchange of know-how, technologies and experiences is demand-driven, based on national plans and priorities. This is supportive towards the level of ownership by the recipient countries. This is especially important since one of the main criticisms levied against the Technical Assistance model used in the traditional form of cooperation is that it continues to be driven by the donor country’s supply instead of the partner country’s demand, regardless of the progress achieved. Against this background, the experience South-South cooperation can bring in terms of harmonization with national development plans, broad stakeholder participation, and adaptability of proposals may provide valuable insights for advancing joint approaches to address key development issues, thereby contributing to the sustainability of solutions.This, of course, does not mean that all SSC is carried out under this perspective. One may argue that it is important to emphasize the potential and the good practices that underpin this form of cooperation, as they can enrich the traditional model of technical assistance, providing it with some criteria for partners to access, analyze and learn from their own practices.
  • Between 1963 and 2005, for instance, 132,000 Cuban doctors, nurses and other health personnel worked in 102 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
  • In fact, Cuba has established local versions of the country’s national healthcare model knownas the Comprehensive Healthcare Programme (CHP) in various countries, starting with Central American countries after the hurricane Mitch in 1997. Suriname is among the countries benefitting from the CHP(although not a hurricane prone country), by having Cuban doctors staffing clinics in the remote areas and hinterlands, serving mostly tribal communities of maroon and indigenous.It is not only in the field of medicine that Cuba has used the South-South framework to assist other developing countries, but in education and training where over 45,000 students from 128 countries graduated from Cuban institutions between 1963 and 2005. As of November 2006, 27,000 students from 120 countries had studied in Cuba, with 80 percent of them in the Medical Sciences.Further, Cuba introduced ‘Operation Miracle’ to facilitate surgery on people with ophthalmologic problems free of charge. The free ophthalmologic service has been extended to 28 countries, with a total of 485,476 patients who recovered their eyesight. In particular, one out of every 213 Bolivians, one out of every 87 Venezuelans and 1 out of every 60 Antiguans had been successfully operated by Cuban ophthalmologists. Cuba’s unique programme, “Operation Miracle” was established in July 2004, and had the initial overriding goal of restoring sight to six million Latin Americans within a 10-year period. The goal was certainly ambitious and was also demand driven from the beneficiaries stand point. It had the potential to impact lives of patients from the poor villages of Central and Southern America as well as Asia and Africa in a Triangle South South Co-operation format (the so called South-South-South (triple S). The Human (centred) dimension and solidarity is typical towards Cuban’s cooperation.  
  • Suriname, a country richly endowed with natural resources and extensive land area still covered with pristine Amazon rainforest is geographically located at the north-east cost of mainland South-America, bordering in the east to French-Guyana, the west to Guyana, south to Brazil and north to the Atlantic Ocean. With a small population of approximately 0.5 million, the country is characterized by a diverse composition in regard to ethnicity, religion, culture and languages.
  • Taking into consideration the basic elements of SSC the Cuba-Suriname cooperation may be characterized as follows:1. activities or projects involve the deliberate and voluntary sharing or exchange of resources, skills and capabilities between two developing countries for their individual or mutual development;2. is initiated, organized and managed by the 2 (two) developing countries themselves. In this case the governments of Cuba and Suriname are taking the lead or responsibility. The participation of public institutions, private organizations and individuals are also considered if necessary. For instance the Cuban Health specialists are functioning under the state and private hospitals, while the general practitioners (MDs) are performing their tasks mostly in the remote areas or hinterland under the mandate of the Medical Mission, which is a non-governmental organization who is responsible for health care in the Interior.3. the financing and project inputs such as expertise, consultancy services, research and training facilities, equipment, supplies in a SSC activity or project is provided entirely or to the largest extent possible by countries themselves
  • In conformity with the guiding principle of SSC, the cooperation between the 2 countries is based on strict observance of national sovereignty, economic independence, equal rights and non-interference in the domestic affairs of nations, irrespective of their size, level of development and social and economic systems. This in spite the political readings in the 1980s which referred that the cooperation with Cuba will lead to the export of its Marxism/socialism ideology and political structure. In Suriname this reading may have had certain ground of anxiety given the fact that the country was lead by a military leadership following a coup de tats in 1980 and the developments in Granada. Interesting to note that CARICOM member States, in keeping with the policy of mutual respect and good neighbourliness, seem to experience the relation with Cuba as a camaraderie which has remained cordial and resilient even through a continually evolving hemispheric and international geo-political landscape.The cooperation between Cuba and Suriname strives also to promote solidarity among both countries in their effort to achieve social and economic progress consistent with the basic principles of equality among states. Suriname’s echo towards the end of the economic blockade of Cuba and to free the 5 hero’s at various platforms, such as the United Nations General Assembly and the Non-Align Movement meetings, and accession is an attestation of the solidarity. Also among the people, the positive results of the Milagros project has created more affection and better acceptance of the Cuban specialists and general practitioners active in the country.The SSC relations between developing countries must be based on respect for diversity of approaches to social, economic and cultural development. This is essential for both Suriname and Cuba as the societal fabrics of its social, economic and cultural composition differ from each other. For instance Suriname has, although small, a free market-based oriented open economy, while Cuba has a centrally lead economy, which currently undergoing market reform changes, SSC must encourage developing countries to make a conscious effort to break down attitudinal barriers among themselves, which, for so long, have inhibited technological, economic and social exchange of experience and knowledge. In the case of Suriname huge advocacy and awareness building initiatives should be undertaken to create more conducive attitude towards the positive aspects of the South-South Cooperation in general and the cooperation with Cuba in specific. This stems from the historical focus to the North as the centre of periphery following decades of colonization and continued with the huge Diaspora in the Netherlands of approximately 250,000 Surinamese origins still maintaining close family ties. Fed by an open economy, open communication lines to the world via fast growing ICT use and western dominated media, a paradigm shift might not be a luxury for the Surinamese. The influence of Chinese and Indian fast economic development and industrialization, through product familiarization, has helped in softening or adjusting the focus in the last 5 to 10 years. An opinion survey may give a base for needed interventions and development of an effective communication strategy in Suriname, since SSC must consciously aim at reaching the largest number of people. It will take root only if it can create roots. It must respond to the multiple needs and tap the creative potential of numerous professional, technical and voluntary associations, and other forms of non-governmental organizations within developing countries. The cooperation in Health and Sport, immediately reach a large group of the population, but more so the lower class of the society and marginalized groups, such as low income group, urban poor and tribal communities (maroon and indigenous) from the hinterland of Suriname. Also in the case of education, through fellowships Surinamese students who in normal circumstance would not have the opportunity to pursue academic education in medicine, given their economic status and the locally numerous nexus are getting the opportunity of their lives.   
  • The scope of the South-South Cooperation between Cuba and Suriname is bilateral although through the platform of regional organizations such as ALBA, CELAC and cooperation Cuba-CARICOM has also taken a regional or interregional character. It is being recognized that at the LAC regional level, the cooperation efforts undertaken within integration schemes (MERCOSUR, UNASUR, ALBA, CAN, CARICOM, SICA, CELAC, etc.) are noteworthy. One may argue that political considerations have been a factor in the establishment of these regional or interregional development cooperation frameworks. However, the policy adapted is sympathetic to a vision of a region with greater self-reliance and focuses on integration through a ‘socially-oriented’ trade bloc.SELA. Opportunities, prospects and instruments for financing South-South Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Caracas: SELA, 2011.
  • The agreement for air traffic cooperation was signed in 1983 but was never operationalized. This was also the case of the agreement for promotion and reciprocity protection of Investment dated from 1999 and which was presented to the State Council in Suriname, without any further details known to what extend it was ratified and operationalized.
  • So far the scope of activities or projects in the cooperation between Cuba and Suriname embraces the following fields:Health IndustryCulture and sportsEducation Science and technology Given the aspirations of the current government in Suriname, there is opportunity for cooperation in the areas of:Agriculture, forestry and fisheriesGeneral economic and social policyand planningInternational tradeNatural resources development such as oil and goldTransport and communicationCombating Effects Climate Change, Emergency Response and Resilience Building Other areas where cooperation between Cuba and Suriname could immediately be developed are trade and agriculture whereby agriculture produces comprising of rice and vegetables from Suriname could be exported to Cuba, while Cuban expertise and fertilizers could also be attracted to help the quality improvement and productivity through knowledge and skills development, technological advancement and research. However there is a constraint of absence of direct transport connection between the two countries. Both direct sea and airfreight possibilities should be explored. A second challenged is faced by private companies exporting agriculture products and transporters (freightliners) who may be blacklisted and endure re-precaution from the United States of America if doing business with Cuba given the blockade. Suriname is also interested in seeking support from Cuba in the development of curriculum for the agriculture development institutions in its attempts to ensure food security and its. In relation to the modes of the Cooperation between Cuba and Suriname has taken basically the form of an exchange and contribution.Exchange takes place when two or more states agree to co-operate towards a common endeavour such as institution building for agriculture through exchange of information and technology within the context of a common objective embodied in a programme or a project. We have seen this taking place for the cultural cooperation, whereby both countries, Cuba and Suriname, exchange of knowledge and technology to enrich and improve their cultural products. Cuban performers (music and dance) came to Suriname to share their experience and knowledge in the traditional Cuban music, dance and folklore expressions, while at the same time learning from the Surinamese artists on their skills and knowledge and vice versa.Contribution implies a relationship where transfer of resources or technology from one country to one or more countries in the spirit of developing collective self-reliance by sharing of excellence or endowments. This is manifested in the cooperation on the area of health, sport and education, where Cuba which is more advanced assists with expertise without expectation of immediate reciprocity or exchange. Modes of cooperation:As part of contemporary relations among developing countries, international agreements are an indispensable formality for SSC. Given the proclaimed economic and political solidarity of developing countries it seems important that these agreements stipulate both the general political willingness of developing countries to cooperate and specific forms and sectors of cooperation.An agreement must, in its entirety, answer both in form and in intent to the needs of the negotiating parties. The form of a technical cooperation agreement is nothing new compared with other agreements now in international use. It contains some of the usual clauses found in almost all international documents on cooperation. For example, the parties usually express their desire to develop friendly relations through the signing of the document. Or, they express their support for the acceptance and application of principles respecting the sovereignty of the other country, its national independence and equality, and for non-interference in the internal affairs of the other country.Cuba and Suriname have signed specific protocols for its cooperation whereby each protocol cover only one determined area of activity, or project. For instance there is a separate protocol signed for cooperation in the field of health, yet another in the area of sport. The specific protocols stipulates the obligations of experts, entry of equipment, etc., but also some broader principles governing projects such as design, implementation, evaluation, termination and so on. This strict and detailed regime by protocol covering only one area of activity or project required extensive and time consuming negotiations. Although it might be beneficial to parties in monitoring the execution, these protocols give limited to no room for flexibility. In the case of Suriname, the cooperation with Cuba reflects also the absence of a coherent and long term programmatic approach.
  • However there is a constraint of absence of direct transport connection between the two countries. Both direct sea and airfreight possibilities should be explored. A second challenged is faced by private companies exporting agriculture products and transporters (freightliners) who may be blacklisted and endure re-precaution from the United States of America if doing business with Cuba given the blockade.
  • Important factors that contribute to the success of SSC of Cuba with Suriname can be summarized as follows:The SSC projects have simple but well spelt out objectives and goals that were easy to understand and highly demand driven with a very strong leadership and political support and goodwill from the very beginning i.e. at their inception. The focus on health and education has a strong humanitarian impact and also may help in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs)The health sector cooperation enjoyed massive economies of scale especially where a single doctor, for example, could carry out up to 40 eye operations per day. Hence efficient use of the available resources was possible. Moreover such massive operations tended to increase the doctor’s skills making them both proficient and efficient with time.(in Suriname there is a low coverage of medical specialists resulting in long waiting time)It was possible to increase the per unit use of each available eye operation clinic’s equipment hence reduce the fixed costs of the same. In this SSC, both the assisting country and the recipient countries stood to gain since the donor country was able to export her most abundant resource (human capital; medical doctors and teachers) while the receiving countries were able to get their own medical doctors and potential teachers trained so as to take over the operations and management of the clinics and hence sever any excessive dependencies. In hindsight, the donor countries had an exit strategy in place right from the inception of the project. The programme had some significant multiplier effects since they were able to release dependent and helpless workers into the existing work force by making them independent and productive workers on medical (sight) grounds. Based on the above discussion, we note that a very visible aspect of human need was identified at the highest level of authority. Thus the two Presidents, of Cuba and Suriname, met and discussed the current deep and very compelling developmental need of restoring sight and good health to the poor in the Southern hemisphere. The choice of a Triangular co-operation framework was essentially appropriate whereby most of the financial resources were provided by Venezuela – (the world eighth largest oil producer) to Cuba and where Cuban doctors and equipment were then mobilized. Further analysis of the cooperation framework clearly shows that mutual benefit of all the stakeholders involved was upheld. Thus Cuba gained by creating significant jobs for its doctors and medical staff and hence a flow of resources from overseas back to her economy through remittances while the recipient nations benefited by getting their medical staff trained in various fields to take over once the Cuban doctors left. Finally, it is important to note that though this assistance was broadly “tied” to use of Cuban doctors and teachers, the low cost of the Cuban professional teachers and doctors and their willingness to work long and gruelling hours far from home is not something that may easily be replicated by any other set of professionals in the world. In this regard, tying the aid may have actually contributed positively to achieving the long term goal of this development assistance. This has been proven in Suriname’s hinterland where Cuban MDs are being station where most of the local colleagues would not be interested Ownership of the programme and the resulting benefits and obligations was ensured through deep involvement of the government at presidential level and the people driven exemplary benefits.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Towards Effective South-SouthCooperation: The Suriname-Cuba Relations Seminar on 40th Anniversary of Cuba-Caribbean Relations Presentation by Ruben Martoredjo UWI/IIR Sta Universidad de Habana, 5-7 December, Havana, Cuba
    • 2. Outline• South South Cooperation• Understanding Cuba’s SSC• Cuba-Suriname Cooperation• Lessons Learned
    • 3. Motivation:• What could be the driving force for small country with scant resources such as Cuba can offer development cooperation of a global magnitude
    • 4. South South Cooperation• Origine of SSC principles: – the 32nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1977 – 138 countries met and adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) by consensus, 1978• Technical Cooperation: was defined as a “conscious, systematic and politically motivated process” characterized by the following principles: • Non-interference in domestic affairs of other nations by cooperating countries, • Equality between partners, and • Respect for the local level of development
    • 5. South South Cooperation(cont’d)• Basic Objectives of SSC: contribute to the wider objectives of the development of the developing countries and international development cooperation (are interdependent and mutually supportive)
    • 6. Objectives of SSC:• to foster national self-reliance of developing countries• to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among developing countries• to strengthen the capacity of developing countries( to identify and analyze the main issues of their development)• to strengthen existing technological capacities in the developing countries• to create new capacities and capabilities and to improve the capacity of developing countries
    • 7. Characteristics of SSC• principal value added by South-South Cooperation is its contribution to develop and strengthen capacities between partners in a horizontal relationship where both parties benefit from sharing.• SSC constitutes an ideal vehicle that helps strengthen national ownership and leadership• the exchange of know-how, technologies and experiences is demand-driven
    • 8. • capacity building and knowledge sharing are flexible and dynamic aspects that are to be adapted to the technological, social, economic and political reality and the ever increasing complexity of issues associated with development that countries face today.
    • 9. Understanding Cuba’s SSC:• Cuba seems to have undertaken several remarkable cooperative ventures with other developing countries• Medical cooperation is a major issue in Cuban civilian cooperation.
    • 10. Understanding Cuba’s SSC(cont’d):• Cuba has established local versions of the country’s national healthcare model known as the Comprehensive Healthcare Programme (CHP) in various countries, starting with Central American countries after the hurricane Mitch in 1997• Cuba introduced ‘Operation Miracle’ programme (established in July 2004) to facilitate surgery on people with ophthalmologic problems free of charge
    • 11. Cuba-Suriname CooperationTypology of Suriname• Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana, Brazil and Guyana• Area and topography :163,820 sq km mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps• Population (total) 524.143 (ABS, mid-year 2009)• Population 0-19 198.028 (ABS, 2009)• Population per sq. km 3.2• Life expectancy 69.9 years (71.9/67.7 f/m)• Climate Tropical; moderated by trade winds; two rainy seasons; and two dry seasons• Main towns Paramaribo (capital), Nieuw-Nickerie, Albina,• Main economic sectors Agriculture: 13% (rice, bananas); industry: 22% (bauxite, alumina production, gold, oil); services: 65% (2001 est.)(2008 EIU)• Major Export Partners Norway 19.5%, EU 21.3%, US 8.5%, Canada 24.5%, (2008 EIU)• Major Import Partners US 23.8%, EU 23.4%, Trinidad & Tobago 20.6%, China 7.9%• Ethnic groups:Hindustani – 27.4% (Hindustani-27.4%, Creole – 17.7%, Maroon – 14.7%, Javanese – 14.6% ,Mixed – 12.5%, Indigenous – 3.7%, Chinese – 1.8%, White – 0.8%, other – 0.5% , unknown – 6.6%)(ABS, Census 2004)• Religions:Christian – 40.7% , Hindu – 19.9%, Islam – 13.5%, Other – 10.2%,Unknown – 15.7%(ABS, Census 2004)• Languages:Dutch (official), Sranan Tongo (Surinamese), Sarnami (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese, Chinese, Portuguese, English and a number of Maroon and indigenous languages• Form of government: Constitutional democracy• Next election : 2015
    • 12. Historical overview• Suriname and Cuba established diplomatic relations on March 23, 1979• peak around the early 1980s but frozen until the early 1990s. Under the government lead by H.E. President Wijdenbosch, the medical cooperation has been reassumed for a relatively short time. This initiative was not successful resulting in the suicide of the team leader of the Cuban doctor’s brigade.• the cooperation has increased after the establishment of current government and concentrated mainly in the fields of education, health and sports
    • 13. • On the basis of the agreements signed, one can follow the timeline and may conclude how the relations between Cuba and Suriname have progressed. For instance the First Session of the Suriname- Cuba Joint Commission was only held in 1998, followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ministries of foreign Affairs of both countries in January 1999. The Second Session of the Joint Commission took place in 2006, followed by a the signing of the cooperation agreement between the ministries of health in 2007
    • 14. Characteristics of Cuba-Suriname Coperations1. activities or projects involve the deliberate and voluntary sharing or exchange of resources, skills and capabilities between two developing countries for their individual or mutual development;2. is initiated, organized and managed by the 2 (two) developing countries themselves. In this case the governments of Cuba and Suriname are taking the lead or responsibility. The participation of public institutions, private organizations and individuals are also considered if necessary. For instance the Cuban Health specialists are functioning under the state and private hospitals, while the general practitioners (MDs) are performing their tasks mostly in the remote areas or hinterland under the mandate of the Medical Mission, which is a non-governmental organization who is responsible for health care in the Interior.3. the financing and project inputs such as expertise, consultancy services, research and training facilities, equipment, supplies in a SSC activity or project is provided entirely or to the largest extent possible by countries themselves.
    • 15. • the cooperation between the 2 countries is based on strict observance of national sovereignty, economic independence, equal rights and non-interference in the domestic affairs of nations, irrespective of their size, level of development and social and economic systems.• to promote solidarity among both countries in their effort to achieve social and economic progress consistent with the basic principles of equality among states• SSC must encourage developing countries to make a conscious effort to break down attitudinal barriers among themselves, which, for so long, have inhibited technological, economic and social exchange of experience and knowledge
    • 16. • The scope of the South-South Cooperation between Cuba and Suriname is bilateral although through the platform of regional organizations such as ALBA, CELAC and cooperation Cuba-CARICOM has also taken a regional or interregional character. It is being recognized that at the LAC regional level, the cooperation efforts undertaken within integration schemes ( MERCOSUR, UNASUR, ALBA, CAN, CARICOM, SICA, CELAC, etc.) are noteworthy.• One may argue that political considerations have been a factor in the establishment of these regional or interregional development cooperation frameworks. However, the policy adapted is sympathetic to a vision of a region with greater self-reliance and focuses on integration through a ‘socially-oriented’ trade bloc.
    • 17. Challenges:• The agreement for air traffic cooperation was signed in 1983 but was never operationalized. This was also the case of the agreement for promotion and reciprocity protection of Investment dated from 1999 and which was presented to the State Council in Suriname, without any further details known to what extend it was ratified and operationalized.
    • 18. Future/opportunitiesOpportunity for cooperation in the areas of:• Agriculture, forestry and fisheries• General economic and social policy and planning• International trade• Natural resources development such as oil and gold• Transport and communication• Combating Effects Climate Change, Emergency Response and Resilience Building
    • 19. Constraints:• absence of direct transport connection between the two countries(direct sea and airfreight possibilities should be explored)• private companies exporting agriculture products and transporters (freightliners) risking to be blacklisted and endure re- precaution given the blockade
    • 20. Lessons Learned• Projects have simple but well spelt out objectives and goals that were easy to understand and highly demand driven with a very strong leadership and political support and goodwill from the very beginning i.e. at their inception.• The focus on health and education has a strong humanitarian impact• The health sector cooperation enjoyed massive economies of scale• Both the assisting country and the recipient countries stood to gain• Significant multiplier effects

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