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SG/SM/17122-DEV/3196
26 September 2015

In Message to South-South Awards Ceremony, Secretary-General Calls Developing Countries ‘Critical Actors’ in Global Landscape

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, to the South-South Awards ceremony, in New York today:

I am delighted to greet the South-South Award ceremony, and I congratulate the winners of these distinguished awards.  I am honoured by your decision to recognize the achievements of the United Nations.

In this seventieth anniversary of the United Nations, the Organization continues to fulfil its mission for peace, development and human rights around the globe.  Member States have made great progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the global development agenda.

Now, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we enter a new era of efforts to eradicate poverty, foster human well-being and protect our planet.  This is a universal agenda for all people in all countries that pledges to leave no one behind.

I commend Member States and all stakeholders involved for seizing this historic opportunity with such a constructive and committed attitude.  The same sense of purpose pervaded the deliberations on financing for development.  Formally adopted in July, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda now points the way towards a stronger global partnership for development.  I urge all Member States to show the same flexibility and solidarity in reaching a climate agreement in December in Paris.

The 2030 Agenda calls on us to strengthen and maximize the effectiveness of international cooperation for development.  While North-South cooperation should continue to be an important channel, the past few decades have seen robust growth of South-South cooperation.

Developing countries, despite ongoing challenges, have become critical actors in the global landscape.  A majority have become middle-income.  Some have attained impressive economic growth, high savings and investment rates, and a larger share of trade in goods and services.  The global South is also home to many high-quality enterprises, technological competency and innovation, and leading finance and banking institutions.  The New Development Bank, as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, holds considerable promise to complement existing sources of finance for development.

Today, we all recognize the great potential of South-South cooperation to improve the well-being of the vast majority of the world’s people.  I encourage Southern partners to continue sharing their experiences with the global community through the United Nations General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and the United Nations development system.

Let us work together to realize the transformational potential of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which embodies the yearnings of people everywhere for lives of dignity on a healthy planet.

For information media. Not an official record.