– As delivered –
Statement by H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
22 March 2019
Your Excellency Jorge Faurie, President of the Conference,
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program and Secretary General of the Conference,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Government and the people of Argentina for hosting this historical Conference. Its organization has been impeccable.
This meeting is proof that, with multilateralism, we can obtain extraordinary results.
I once again congratulate the States for their constructive role and dedication and the Ambassadors of Lithuania and Uganda for their extraordinary role as co-facilitators of the Outcome Document.
Our efforts have paid off.
The Outcome Document reflects the evolution of south-south cooperation and constitutes a navigation chart for the future.
It opens a wide variety of possibilities to expand the horizons of solidary collaboration even more, not just between southern countries, but also with developed countries and other main stakeholders, as triangular cooperation includes them as strategic partners. Furthermore, it includes a mechanism for voluntary reports that will allow us to measure the impact of these modes of cooperation.
I would like to briefly mention three topics.
Firstly, south-south and triangular cooperation are accelerators of the 2030 Agenda because they strengthen their means of implementation by building specific capacities in developing countries to eradicate poverty and hunger; ensuring more quality health and education; ending discrimination and violence against women and girls; safeguarding the biodiversity of our planet and improving our adaptation, mitigation and resilience capabilities to face climate change.
Secondly, adapting these modes of cooperation to the challenges of quick technological changes is essential.
Southern countries must be correctly inserted into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technologies are essential for the transformation of production, commerce, agriculture, medicine, infrastructures and services. Then again, new technologies, if not used properly and in the correct governance, can aggravate inequalities, alter social relations and affect the future of work. Therefore, the intelligent insertion of southern countries into this new technological world is vitally important.
Lastly, I would like to emphasize the strategic role of south-south cooperation to unite countries who share realities and similar challenges, but also common challenges.
South-south cooperation works as a catalyst for regional integration in terms of politics, economics and commerce.
In fact, this is what is happening in several regions with the Ibero-American Cooperation -which, in the last decade alone, registered more than 7.370 exchanges- or with the creation of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in Turkey; and even at an inter-regional level, as shown by the International Solar Alliance which comprises the 121 sunniest countries of the world.
I would like to acknowledge the role of cooperation and support of the United Nations system in the re-launch of the south-south and triangular cooperation agenda, particularly the UNDP and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and also the important role of Regional Commissions.
Today, Buenos Aires once again becomes a symbol of hope, not just for the south, but for all of us who stand for a world with more solidarity, more collective solutions, and a world where the nations of the world come closer together, because as a Latin American poet once said: “solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples”.María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
In these forty years of the Buenos Aires Action Programme, we have travelled a long road, one that has not been without its difficulties, but that has undoubtedly strengthened the south.
Today, Buenos Aires once again becomes a symbol of hope, not just for the south, but for all of us who stand for a world with more solidarity, more collective solutions, and a world where the nations of the world come closer together, because as a Latin American poet once said: “solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples”.
A vibrant, effective and solidary multilateral system will be the engine of a brighter and more sustainable future.