South-South Cooperation emerged in the 1950s in the context of the common struggle of former colonies for genuine independence and peace. It started with the Bandung Conference in 1955 organized by Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Pakistan participated in by 29 newly independent countries from Asia and Africa. In the midst of increasing conflict between the world’s major powers, these countries united to maintain their independence from these competing camps and engage in mutual cooperation to prevent an impending war and support ongoing anti-colonial struggles.

There is no official definition of SSC but it is generally understood as an expression of solidarity and a partnership among equals between and among developing countries. It is a process whereby they pursue their national development goals through numerous ways ranging from economic integration, formation of negotiating blocs within multilateral institutions, and exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how, among others. The purpose of SSC is to contribute to national well-being of peoples and countries of the South.

In helping one another, developing countries agreed that they will observe respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence; equality; non-conditionality; non-interference in domestic affairs; and mutual benefit.


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