UN Headquarters

28 November 2018

Opening Remarks at Global South-South Development Expo 2018

António Guterres

It is indeed a pleasure to join all of you for this 10th Global South-South Development Expo. 

I am happy to see so many national authorities and Directors-General for Development Cooperation with us.  Welcome to New York.

As you know, three years ago, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is ambitious.  It is transformational.  And it simply cannot happen without the ideas, energy, and tremendous ingenuity of the countries of the South.

The facts speak for themselves.

Southern countries have contributed to more than half of all global growth in recent years.

Intra-South trade is higher than ever – accounting for more than one quarter of all world trade. 

Foreign direct investment outflows from the South represent one-third of global FDI flows.

Remittances from migrant workers to low- and middle-income countries reached $466 billion last year, helping to lift millions of families out of poverty.

Innovative forms of Southern-led knowledge sharing, technology transfer, emergency response and livelihood recovery are transforming lives.

New financial institutions have helped generate infrastructure and sustainable development projects around the world.

I would like to make here a very important observation. I am a strong believer in South-South cooperation as a key instrument for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for fair a globalization. But South-South cooperation is not meant to replace North-South cooperation and, especially, it is not meant to undermine the commitments that were made in the context of the Addis Ababa Plan of Action by countries of the North.  South-South cooperation is an essential tool, but it should not undermine the responsibilities assumed by the global North in relation to the Agenda 2030 and in relation to global development.

All of this showcases the enormous opportunities emanating from countries of the South.

At the same time, we know that development gains have been uneven and incomplete.

Ten per cent of the world’s population still live in extreme poverty, even if we have registered enormous progress, at least in some parts of the world in the recent past.

More than 700 million people are unable to meet basic needs. 

Climate change and rising inequalities compound these challenges.

This Expo is about harnessing the power and potential of the South for the common good.  

It is about sharing homegrown Southern solutions for sustainable development.

We have more than 20 UN entities here – highlighting what works.

This year’s focus on institutions supporting South-South and triangular cooperation is particularly timely – as we look to the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

These are important opportunities to take stock, review lessons learned and identify new opportunities to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Over the next four days, I urge you to seize the opportunity this Expo provides to share the real, lasting changes that takes place in the South.

Working together, we can forge sustainable strategies to scale up Southern success and help others adapt them to their own circumstances.

As this Expo shows, there are many creative home-grown solutions to eradicate poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Let us strive together to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

Let us put a special focus on empowering women and expanding opportunities for young people.

And let us make the most of Southern successes for the people of the South, and indeed, for the world.

Thank you – and I wish you a productive and rewarding Expo.