Building on its years of experience facilitating and fostering technical cooperation among countries, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) seeks to strengthen its capacity to promote these types of cooperation as viable, effective, and sustainable tools for health development through a renewed policy.

Cooperation among countries and horizontal partnerships optimize existing health capacities and encourage the sharing of knowledge and know-how between partners. Such cooperation can strengthen and accelerate health development at all levels and across all regions. At the national level, cooperation among countries can create momentum for change and contribute to national health policy dialogue. These results can be multiplied through intercountry exchanges, which then have the potential to impact subregional and regional integration processes as well as global health policy debates. All these processes create important spaces for dialogue and diplomacy among countries. All levels of health development can benefit from the innovations and important lessons that emerge. Health can bring countries and partners together around shared values and common problems to reach much-needed public health solutions.

Over the last decade, renewed importance has been given to what is often referred to as South-South cooperation (SSC) and Triangular Cooperation (TrC), largely thanks to strong political backing from developing and middle-income countries. Economic growth and enhanced capacity in developing countries, as well as their shared context, histories, languages, and other factors, make the exchange of expertise and technologies through direct partnerships between developing countries more feasible and in some cases more desirable. As the use and political clout of SSC has expanded, it has enriched the dialogue by presenting new challenges and ways of thinking about international cooperation.