On the evening of April 6, the Fifth Meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNOSSC Global Network of Think Tank for South-South Cooperation was successfully held. The meeting was held in online format and was chaired by Ms. Wang Xiaojun, Deputy Director of the UNOSSC. The meeting aimed to summarize the achievements and experiences of the think tank network during the first phase (January 2017 to June 2022) and to brainstorm the way forward for the second phase in order to promote think tank led evidence-based research to further influence policy making.
Experts present at the meeting included Ms. Faiza Effendi, Director, Effectiveness Sector, United Nations Development Programme; Ms. Yuko Suzuki, Executive Secretariat, United Nations Global Think Tank Network on South-South Cooperation; Mr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Researcher, Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh, and member of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP); Professor Lin Yifu, Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University, Dean of the School of South-South Cooperation and Development, Honorary Dean of the National Development Institute, Former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, and Chief Economist; Mr. Andre de Mello e Souza, Researcher of the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (IBAMA); Prof. Xu Xiuli, Dean of the School of International Development and Global Development of China Agricultural University (CAU); Ms. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, CEO of the SAIIA; Dr. Raed BenShams, President of the International Academy of Administrative Sciences; Ms. Andrea Ordonez, Research Coordinator of Southern Voice, among others. Ms. Yang Lin, founding partner and Global Partner of Yingke International and Executive Director of the Board of Directors of Yingke International, attended the meeting and delivered a speech.
At the beginning of the conference, Ms. Wang Xiaojun welcomed all the experts, followed by Ms. Faiza Effendi’s opening remarks. Ms. Yuko Suzuki introduced the work focus of the Think Tank Network, which is to continue to strengthen the network’s leading role in the field of evidence-based research, to strengthen the relationship between expertise and policy research, and work closely with government departments to realize the practical application of evidence-based research results. Ms.Wang Xiaojun added the project achievements from 2017 to 2022, including developing and expanding partnerships with think tanks in developing countries, building an online platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration, improving network construction capabilities, publishing the Human Development Report and other UN reports on progress, convening South-South policy dialogues and consultative meetings, and promoting the knowledge-policy interface through evidence-based research.
Next is a free discussion session. Experts participating in the discussion expressed their hopes for the next stage of the work of the South-South Cooperation Global Think Tank Network from various perspectives,including how to better apply the research results, how to strengthen the links between governments and the private sector, how to think innovatively based on the characteristics of developing countries in the face of new challenges such as new epidemics and geopolitical frictions, how the network of think tanks can serve as a bridge between evidence-based research and policy making, and how the private sector can contribute to sustainable development, etc.
Next, the participating experts provided their insights on the priority research areas of the South-South Cooperation Global Think Tank Network. The priority areas proposed by the think tanks included digital government, digital economy, climate change and economic development, environmental protection, poverty reduction, industrialization in developing countries, post-epidemic economic recovery, education and employment in the post-epidemic era, unleashing the potential of development finance institutions, and promoting sustainable development, etc.
Ms. Yang Lin began by congratulating the Think Tank Network on its great achievements in the first phase of the project and expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the experts for their contributions and efforts in the past five years. Yingke is honored to be part of the network and to share knowledge and experience with the think tanks. During the cooperation period, Yingke co-organized several high-profile events with the UN, including the Asia Investment Summit in Bangkok, Thailand; the Investment Summit for Europe and CIS countries in Prague, Czech Republic; the Africa Investment Forum in Madagascar. Ms.Yang was invited to participate in the South-South Cooperation Expo in Antalya, Turkey and New York, USA, to share how the private sector can contribute to South-South cooperation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the next phase of cooperation, Yingke hopes to start in-depth cooperation with the United Nations at the level of policy research and legal practice. In particular, Ms. Yang Lin pointed out that ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investment is a topic that is receiving increasing attention from governments, investors, business leaders and the public. In many countries, public policies increasingly favor investments in energy and infrastructure projects that are closely linked to sustainable development goals. National regulators are demanding greater transparency and clarity in ESG disclosure and implementation, and investors and the public are increasingly concerned about how companies are addressing their ESG risks. We recommend that Think Tank Network members be able to assist governments in developing the most appropriate laws, regulations and policies on ESG issues.
Finally, Ms. Faiza Effendi summarized the meeting. At this point, the fifth meeting of the Steering Committee of the UN South-South Cooperation Global Think Tank Network was successfully concluded. Yingke was signed as the founding member of the UN SSC Global Think Tank Network in November 2016, which is the first time for the UN to reach cooperation with law firms in the field of policy and regulation. Yingke Law Firm will continue to work closely with the UN SSC Global Think Tank Network to provide strong policy and regulatory support for the Global “One Hour” Legal Services and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.