New York – 8 September 2015
Delivered H.E Einar Gunnarsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations on behalf of President Kutesa
Mr. Yiping Zhou, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to address this event organized by the Permanent Missions of India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) in partnership with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
Next year will mark 10 years since the establishment of the IBSA Fund, which has since served as an innovative mechanism that has contributed some $29 million USD to socio-economic development projects around the world.
Spearheaded by three major developing countries with multi-ethnic societies, and in partnership with developing countries and the United Nations system, the IBSA Fund projects have had positive impacts across the developing world, including in many Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
The projects undertaken by the IBSA Fund cover a wide range of issues; from promoting food security and environmental protection; and from building better healthcare systems to improving access to quality education. Through these efforts, the IBSA’s work has improved the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.
Given that the majority of South-South cooperation efforts are pursued through bilateral initiatives, the IBSA Fund’s partnership with the United Nations system represents an important and innovative approach to furthering South-South cooperation.
By upholding South-South cooperation principles, such as respect for State sovereignty, equality, non-conditionality, and national ownership and leadership, the IBSA Fund has played a notable role in assisting developing countries in attaining the targets outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
As the international community now shifts its focus toward the implementation of the ambitious and transformative “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, it will be essential that a new global partnership is put into place. All stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector will have valuable roles to play in the successful implementation of the future development framework over the next 15 years.
Included within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that comprise the 2030 Agenda are specific references to the value of South-South cooperation.
South-South cooperation, as a supplement to North-South cooperation, is expected play a role in the implementation of the future development agenda by promoting the exchange of experiences and expertise, facilitating infrastructure development, enhancing access to technology and innovation, and supporting capacity building to implement the SDGs.
The experience of the IBSA Fund over the past decade, particularly in poverty and hunger alleviation through South-South cooperation, is indeed relevant to and consistent with the vision and means of implementation towards the achievement of the targets contained within the 2030 Agenda.
I hope the positive impacts already realized through the IBSA Fund’s work can further galvanize innovative South-South cooperation initiatives and contribute to the attainment of SDGs.
I wish you productive discussions and thank you for your attention