GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH-LEVEL COMMITTEE ON SOUTH-SOUTH
COOPERATION TO MEET, 31 MAY – 3 JUNE
NEW YORK, 31 May (UNDP) -- The General Assembly’s High-Level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation (SSC) is meeting at UN Headquarters in New York from 31 May to 3 June to take stock of progress and set plans for the future. Meetings of the HLC have been the main steering mechanism for cooperation among developing countries for nearly three decades.
In a period of rapid globalization, cooperation among developing countries has emerged as an increasingly important process, especially in the context of the broad trend towards regional integration. Developing countries account for about 40 per cent of the 210 regional integration agreements now in force, which in turn account for over half of all world trade. Both the World Trade Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development have focused world attention on the importance of South-South Cooperation in accelerating economic growth.
In Africa, Asia and Latin America, important initiatives have been undertaken to deepen the process of South-South Cooperation, and the HLC will consider a report presenting the highlights of developments over the 2003 - 2004 biennium (SSC/14/1). The report, prepared by United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Special Unit on South-South Cooperation, suggests that a key reason why large and small developing countries are engaging in cooperation with each other is their need for regional solidarity in facing a world of unequal players.
Among the developments highlighted in the report are the following:
-- Intra-developing country trade now accounts for some 40 per cent of their overall trade, and it is growing faster than their trade with developed countries;
-- As a share of overall world trade, developing country trade has risen from 20 to 30 per cent over the last two decades;
-- Intra-Asian trade now accounts for over half the region’s overall trade;
-- Intra-Latin American trade has been largely responsible for the region’s accelerated rebound from the economic crisis of the 2001 - 2002 biennium;
-- The share of manufactured goods in developing country trade is now 70 per cent, up from 20 per cent in 1980. The value of such trade was $1,300 billion in 2000. In 1980, it was $115 billion.
-- Traditional donors are forging partnerships with developing countries that provide development assistance to other countries in the South; and
-- Market-based globalization has added to the importance of SSC because developing countries must create their own collective capacity to address common concerns and pursue common interests if they are to compete effectively.
On 1 June the HLC will hold a thematic discussion on the “Role of South-South Cooperation in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals”, with expert presentations on key topics. (Conference Room 1; 3 to 6 p.m.)
Journalists are invited to attend the thematic discussion and the meetings of the HLC. For additional information, please, contact: Cosmas Gitta, tel.: 212 906-6441.
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