OSC in ground-breaking consultations with non-state actors centered on a new third way of development for the Global South

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An international discourse on a new Third Way of Development for the Global South, between the Organisation of Southern Cooperation (OSC) and representatives of civil society, academia, scientists, and among others, collectively known as Associate Members, is currently underway in the Kenyan Capital Nairobi.

The two-day consultations under the theme: “Defining the Third Way of Development,” was officially opened today, by the Secretary-General of the OSC, H.E. Sheikh Manssour Bin Mussallam.

I am all too conscious of the historic nature of this Pan-African consultation meeting. Historic not only for Africa but also for the entirety of the Greater South. This Pan-African consultation of intellectuals, scientists, artists and youth as well as civil society organisations is one amongst several regional and sectoral consultations being convened by the OSC. And, in this sense, we should not understand the name of this process as entailing an academic conference – no, ‘Congress’, here, takes on almost a legislative and, I dare say, a political sense – in the noblest meaning of the term, that is a transformative societal project,” said the OSC Secretary- General.

Other high-level delegates to the consultations include Mr. Varney Alieu Jarsey, President of All- Africa Students Union (AASU), at the high table; and Professor Nobert Hounkonnou, President of the Network of African Sciences Academies (NASAC) who is also the President of the Conference of Associate Members of the OSC, and a key party to the consultations in Nairobi.

Professor Hounkonnou said that NASAC believes that the ConGreS can help address the issues that hinder equitable, sustainable, and inclusive human progress, beyond Africa. “This event is only one of the many ways that OSC can provide an institutional platform for promoting South- South cooperation. In partnership with other like-minded organisations, NASAC is ready to strategically cooperate to lend our voice to demanding science-informed and socially-conscious sustainable development is pursued in Africa,” he said.

The consultations on May 15 and 16, aim to devise innovative ways for a more inclusive future model of development for developing countries – a Third Way of Development. Participants will engage with visionary ideas, address global challenges, and promote a new multilateralism, the first in a series of such discussions, which will also be rolled out in the Pacific and Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East, and Southeast Asian region.

The various break-out sessions during the next two days will brainstorm and produce concrete steps forward on the following four key themes that align with the OSC’s mandates and objectives:

  • CongReS 2024 as a catalyst for a new Third Way of Development, prioritising human dignity, equity, solidarity, sustainability, and shared prosperity.
  • Address the global challenges of climate change, poverty, inequality, and knowledge democratisation to shape a comprehensive action plan.
  • Promote Multilateralism, through sstrengthened global cooperation, alliances, and an amplified voice of the Global South in international decision-making.
  • Set a New Action Agenda: Adopt a common roadmap and collective plan of action to build a Third Way of Development, reflecting the aspirations and needs of the South, for Humanity.

 

More than just a forum, the ConGreS is a platform for collective action visionary thinking, and actionable execution. By bringing together diverse stakeholders from across regions and sectors, ConGreS seeks to forge a path toward shared prosperity and human dignity. At the end of the consultations, participants would have articulated a collective plan of action that will inform the next series of discussions with politicians and policymakers.

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