UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
19 DECEMBER 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you as we mark this year's UN Day for South-South Cooperation, designated by the General Assembly in 2003.
UN Days such as this one serve to remind us of important international commitments and on this day almost thirty years ago, the General Assembly made such a commitment by adopting the Buenos Aires Plan of Action on promoting and implementing technical cooperation among developing countries. The framework it envisioned depended on a cooperative spirit and has not only served as an engine for economic growth and social progress but as a means to strengthen ties and deepen understanding amongst the different cultures of the south.
The theme chosen to focus on today; New Dynamic in South-South and Triangular Partnerships for Development is of special significance because it is about understanding rising patterns and trends on the global development landscape. Lack of awareness can lead to complacency at a time when calls for genuine reform are on the rise. One of the goals of the recently concluded thematic debate entitled "Partnerships Towards Achieving the MDGs: Taking Stock Moving Forward was to reinvigorate partnerships and give further impetus to efforts leading to the fulfillment of our development goals. The initiative unveiled by the Islamic Development Bank Group is a part of this new dynamic in south south cooperation along with increased trade, investment and economic and technical cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the 2005 World Summit world leaders stressed the great potential of South-South cooperation and encouraged the promotion of such collaboration. Current trends in international trade and investment liberalization as well as the increasing regional and economic integration offer new opportunities and challenges for South-South cooperation. It is clear today that no single country, even the most advanced among developing countries, has much hope of reaching its desired growth and development targets individually.
Furthermore the countries of the south include the most vulnerable and disadvantaged amongst member states namely, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Small Island developing States. Enhanced cooperation and an exchange of resources, experiences and know how on matters including information and communication technology, trade, investment, finance, debt management, food, agriculture, water, energy, health, and education will afford each country the opportunity to meet these challenges.
It is my sincere hope that the new dynamics we are witnessing in the rising flows of South-South trade and investment will in the years ahead inspire closer collaboration in a wide range of fields among developing countries and their partners in the North for the betterment of the human condition.
Let me conclude by thanking the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in UNDP for organizing this event, and I hope we will all continue to support the Unit in advancing South-South and triangular approaches to development. I look forward to the 15th session of the High Level Commission next year.