It is a pleasure to convey greetings to His Excellency Dr. Winston Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, and all the other distinguished leaders and guests who have come together for this important ceremony. I congratulate tonight's award-winners and thank them for their contributions.
South-South cooperation is a vital part of the world's efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and build a safer, more just, more equitable world for all. Developing countries that pool know-how and exchange solutions and ideas can attain much greater gains than they ever would on their own.
In recent years South-South has reached new heights. There has been a surge in South-South trade, investment, technology transfer and development cooperation. Emerging economies have demonstrated remarkable resilience during the global economic and financial crisis. And today they are widely acknowledged as drivers of global economic growth and recovery, and as key players in improving the economic fortunes of world's poorer countries.
Despite these successes, challenges remain, such as from climate change to hunger and the spread of deadly diseases. It is in this last respect that this year's award-winners have made their mark, with the help of information and communications technologies. I thank them for this contribution to sustainable development and global well-being. The struggle to improve global public health has been one of my priorities as Secretary-General, from the launch of the “Every Woman Every Child” initiative to today's high-level meeting of the General Assembly on non-communicable diseases.
I have high hopes for the future of South-South cooperation. At the same time, let us also encourage more North-South and triangular cooperation, and public-private partnerships. South-South cooperation is not a substitute for North-South cooperation, but complementary to it.
Together, we can harness the great endowments of the South, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Together, we can overcome the multiple crises we face. Please accept my best wishes for a memorable evening.