South-South and Triangular Cooperation

South-South cooperation refers to development cooperation between fellow countries of the Global South. Triangular cooperation includes a developed country, which supports South-South initiatives. We work on both forms of cooperation in the field of intellectual property (IP).

Simply put: a large part of the South is now able and ready to contribute to its own development. An important number of countries in the South have developed significant technological capabilities and know-how and learned to harness the power of science, technology and innovation as an engine for development. This in turn has led to the rise of innovative, tailor-made, potentially transferable and adaptable solutions to address common Southern development challenges in the field of IP.

Developing countries are no longer viewed simply as recipients of technology innovations and know-how but also as sources thereof. Recognized by the UN as a key means of effecting technical cooperation, South-South cooperation has therefore become increasingly important in recent years as a way to share knowledge, experiences, know-how, solutions and technologies.

Our role is largely that of a catalyst, spurring on promising home-grown initiatives and facilitating the mutually-beneficial exchanges that underpin South-South cooperation.

Our work on South-South cooperation is guided by the WIPO Convention, as well as the Organization's Development Agenda principles, and our Medium-Term Strategic Plan (2016-21) PDF, WIPO Medium-Term Strategic Plan 2016-21, approved by member states. This comprehensive framework ensures a cross-cutting and inclusive approach to development cooperation throughout our activities in the field of IP.

Developing Together

Read our flyer for an overview of South-South cooperation.



All of our various activities are carried out at the request of member states.

Project monitoring

In the spirit of our work as a facilitator of South-South and triangular cooperation, we monitor, document and report on WIPO activities in this area. The full list of WIPO activities generated through monitoring can be found in the "Resources" section. 

Exchange of experience

As an open and collaborative forum for South-South and triangular cooperation, we are ideally placed to help member states share experiences/best practices. View activities published so far or submit your activity for publication.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

South-South cooperation is at the heart of the SDGs. We work to ensure effective implementation of the SDGs, with a particular focus on the innovation component of SDG 9.


South-South Cooperation Technical Assistance Database (SSTAD)

The IP Technical Assistance Database (TAD) presents information on technical assistance activities where both the beneficiary country(ies) and the host country/provider were a developing country, an LDC, or a country in transition.

South-South Cooperation Roster of Consultants (SSROC)

The Roster of Consultants (ROC) contains information on consultants from developing countries, LDCs and countries in transition. All have worked with WIPO to undertake IP technical assistance activities.

WIPO Match

WIPO Match is an online tool to match seekers of specific IP-related development needs with potential providers offering resources. The tool is free of charge and can help to catalyze IP technical assistance projects.

Full list of activities (mapping)

In order to get a reliable picture of all South-South and triangular cooperation activities going on within the Organization, we periodically carry out a mapping exercise to identify and group all these activities together. 


In Argentina in 1978, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) was adopted during the UN Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. This initiative formed the basis for South-South cooperation as we know it today.

To mark the 30th anniversary of BAPA, the UN General Assembly convened the Nairobi High Level Conference on South-South Cooperation in 2009. The Conference affirmed that South-South cooperation should be guided by developing countries.

Key documents

  • Nairobi Conference Outcome Document
  • Study on Management Practices in South-South Cooperation
  • UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Strategic framework for 2014-2017 PDF, Study on Management Practices in South-South Cooperation
High level committee on South-South cooperation in session
The High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, is the main policymaking body on South-South cooperation in the UN system. (Photo: Eskinder Debebe)