Ban highlights vital role of South-South cooperation in attaining Sustainable Development Goals

Through South-South cooperation, farmers receive training on different technologies, including fish cage culture. Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam

12 September 2015 – Marking the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the acceleration of the development momentum across the global South, while the UN labour chief highlighted the great potential for developing countries working together to help improve the working lives of millions.

“South-South cooperation can therefore play a key role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is to be adopted by world leaders at a summit later this month at UN Headquarters,” Mr. Ban said in his message for the Day.

He went on to say “as we embark on efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to accelerate development momentum across the South, including by building resilience and mitigating risk.”

He also noted that developing countries have become critical actors, saying a majority have joined the middle-income club, and some have attained impressive economic growth, high savings and investment rates, and a larger share of trade in goods and services.

“The New Development Bank recently established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, as well as the proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, hold considerable promise to complement existing sources of finance for development,” Mr. Ban said.

In his message, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder said there is a lot of room for scaling up South-South cooperation and for strengthening interregional cooperation in the global South.

“Today the International Labour Organization highlights the role of South-South cooperation in helping to raise the living standards of millions of women and men through decent jobs as we confront the challenges of delivering the 2030 Development Agenda,” he added.

To mark the importance of South-South cooperation, the General Assembly decided to observe this Day on 12 September every year, commemorating the adoption in 1978 of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

The Assembly also urged all relevant UN organizations and multilateral institutions to intensify their efforts to effectively mainstream the use of South-South cooperation in the design, formulation and implementation of their regular programmes and to consider increasing allocations of human, technical and financial resources for supporting South-South cooperation initiatives.

“The 2030 Development Agenda is a once-in-a-generation chance to improve the lives of billions and to respond to the universal demand for decent jobs,” the ILO chief said. “We must embrace the opportunity and encourage the solidarity – including the solidarity of South-South cooperation– that will help to make this goal a reality.”


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