In June of 2021, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) published the position paper “Shaping the future together- strategic cooperation with global partners”, which is now also available in English. In its reform strategy “BMZ 2030”, BMZ has identified three categories of partners:
1. Bilateral partners
2. Nexus and peace partners
3. Global partners
In the position paper, the BMZ sets out its approach to cooperate with global partners. The group of BMZ’s global partners consists of Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Vietnam and China. While the heterogeneity of this group is acknowledged, the group shares a range of shared characteristics. The countries have high capabilities and bear a special responsibility for the provision of global public goods and the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They possess significant power in international institutions, are drivers of innovation in science and technology and are rich in population.
Cooperation with the global partners by BMZ is guided by international agendas, like the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Paris Agreement, and is aligned with the approaches of multilateral partners, like the European Union, the World Bank or the G7 and G20.
Global Partners are often donors in development cooperation themselves. The approaches in South-South cooperation are often consciously different from traditional North-South Cooperation. The United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation identified potential links between North-South and South-South cooperation. Triangular cooperation might serve as an important bridge to combine the comparative strengths of diverse partners in order to better contribute to sustainable development.
In the paper, BMZ identifies four principles of cooperation with global partners. These are:
1. All countries must act
2. Assuming shared responsibility for the global common good
3. Open and respectful dialogue
4. The multi-stakeholder approach
Regarding cooperation with China, a focus is put on the provision and preservation of global public goods. When drawing up concrete cooperation projects, a special focus is put on the substantial performance capacities of China. The Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) is mentioned prominently in the paper, as a hub and platform for dialogue and joint cooperation.
The position paper emphasizes the importance of triangular cooperation projects to foster the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and underlines China’s importance for the provision and preservation of global public goods. Moreover, it strengthens the relevance of CSD’s work with China for BMZ and provides a guideline for the CSD in the future to support cooperation between China and Germany through concrete triangular cooperation projects.
The strategy can be accessed in the media section on BMZ’s homepage.