Global South-South Development Expo 2012

From 19 to 23 November 2012, UNIDO successfully hosted the fifth annual Global South-South Development Expo of the United Nations (GSSD Expo) at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. Since its inception in 2008, the Expo is hosted annually by UN agencies around the globe and organized jointly with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. At this multi-stakeholder event, major actors of development practice come together to showcase and exchange successful South-South development solutions.

The GSSD Expo 2012 reflected UNIDO’s thematic  priorities as well as the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to  declare 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Under  the theme of ‘Investing in Energy and Climate Change: Inclusive  Partnerships for Sustainable Development’, the GSSD Expo 2012 focused on  how issues of renewable energy and climate change are intervolved with  development outcomes in the Global South. Over the course of the week,  participants to the Expo had the opportunity to exchange their knowledge  about best practices and innovative solutions found throughout the  South to the challenges facing the South today. To build on this  momentum, the Expo successfully launched four pioneering initiatives,  such as UNIDO’s Networks for Prosperity Initiative and UNOSSC’s  South-South Energy Initiative.

Attended by more than 750 delegates  from over 150 countries – representing Member States, United Nations  entities, NGOs, the private sector, civil society and academia – the  GSSD Expo 2012 was one of most successful GSSD Expos to date. The wide  range of activities provided an opportunity for all stakeholders of  South-South development to connect and enhance mutual learning from  solutions with a proven impact on the ground. In addition, throughout  the GSSD Expo 2012, the exhibition floor showcased nominated successful  and innovative Southern-grown development solutions – considered to be  best practice examples of the current and potential strength of  South-South cooperation.

GSSD Expo 2012: A Green Event

With  the GSSD Expo 2012 overarching theme being “Energy and Climate Change”,  UNIDO and its co-organizers took a number of steps to reduce the  ecological footprint of the event. These numerous initiatives  demonstrate the United Nations’ commitment to work in an  environmentally-friendly manner.
For their achievements towards  reducing the ecological footprint of the event, the GSSD Expo 2012 was  awarded with the Austrian Eco-Label for Green Events.

The Austrian  Eco-label is a quality certification mark for event-organizing  enterprises that sets environmental standards, while also taking into  account criteria from the other pillars of sustainability (social and  economic) to inform the public about the environmental impacts of  products and services and in the process encouraging them to take  responsibility in all fields of sustainability. The Eco-label Guideline  for “Green Meetings” sets environmental standards for both the event  planner and the individual aspects of a meeting.

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