The South-South Sustainable Council for Sustainable Development (SSCC) was created by a group of like minded individuals and institutions as a facilitator and catalyst to promote south-south dialogue on sustainable development and strengthen the world peace.
There has been an increasing awareness recently that whilst the developed countries of the northern hemisphere have played an important role in promoting sustainable development, it is the countries in the gambit of south-south cooperation which share similar economic, social and cultural conditions where good practices can be replicated with greater ease and efficiency.
There are several factors which galvanized the promoters of this idea to unite their forces in pursuing their common agenda. The most important one is that the international community is fractured today by countless armed conflicts based on ethnic, religious, tribal and other grounds and also as a result of unfortunate colonial legacy. The world wars have been replaced by a cluster of conflicts which have now, through terrorism, spilled into many regions throughout the world and the plight of millions of refugees is putting huge strain on European countries, including members of the European Union.
SSCC was set up in Colombia which is currently undergoing an exciting stage of its development and is at the threshold of ending an armed conflict in which five million persons have been displaced and 250,000 killed. Peace accords are expected to be signed towards the end 2016 which will start a spiral of exchange of experiences with countries in conflict and post conflict. This will involve Colombia, as the principal protagonist, the Philippines, East Timor, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, the Balkans, many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and also the Caribbean, Central and South America. A special emphasis will be placed on relations between Sub-Saharan Africa and countries with large proportion of afro descendant populations. The areas covered include strengthening of peace and reconciliation, including the measures to deal with refugees and displaced persons, art as a tool for global peace, education as a tool of inclusion, cultural exchanges, protection of environment
SSCC had assembled an impressive array of resource persons, both political leaders and experts, led in Colombia by Dr. Angelino Garzon, the former Vice President of Colombia and promoter of the movement “Yes for the Peace”. The partners include Governments, parliaments, intergovernmental agencies, municipal governments, academia, civil society and private sector.
I am personally honoured to be given an opportunity to contribute to this valuable and much needed process of strengthening peace, especially as I lived and worked for many years in numerous African, Asian and especially South American countries. The inaugural first step was the conference “Yes for the Peace” which Dr. Garzon organized in Cali on 26th February 2016, to a large group of international and national leaders, followed by the presentation of the project “Art as a Tool for Peace, presented to the Paris meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors on 10th May 2016 by the SSCC Board Member and Ambassador Ivonne Baki from Ecuador, and which will continue through a series of events throughout the world to culminate at a forum to be organized in South America in mid 2017.
Chairman and Director of International Relations