New York

26 September 2015

Secretary-General's remarks at high-level roundtable on South-South Cooperation

I am pleased to welcome you to this High-level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation.

I thank His Excellency President XI Jinping of China for inviting me to co-host. 

China has lifted millions of people from extreme poverty.

And the country is a leader in advancing South-South cooperation.

Notable initiatives include the BRICS Development Bank, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Silk Road Development Fund, and the newly announced South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, to which President Xi yesterday committed $3 billion dollars.

And just now he has announced many important projects to support developing countries, as a way of South-South cooperation. I am deeply grateful for your very generous support and strong commitment. This is a far-reaching vision for your commitment.

All this support will go a long way to address the needs of the poor and most vulnerable and contribute political momentum for the success of the climate negotiations in Paris in December.

As we implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, it will be important to widely share the effective policies and practices that China and other fast-growing economies in the Global South are employing.

South-South cooperation will play a key role in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

All developing countries, regardless of size or level of development, have accumulated capacities and experiences that can be shared among developing countries.

The fact that many of the MDGs have been met is largely due to the leadership, strong focus and contributions of developing countries.

Countries from the South have become key drivers of global growth.

South-South cooperation now encompasses many areas. 

They include trade and foreign resource transfers, infrastructure financing, remittances, and foreign direct investment.

They range from technology transfer and capacity development to regional integration. 

Some countries are pursuing institutional innovations in social protection -- particularly in the areas of education, health, food security, employment and poverty reduction.

We are also seeing agricultural and rural development programmes that are connecting farmers to markets, building rural infrastructure, strengthening collective bargaining power for smallholder farmers and improving access to finance and extensive services.

These programmes contribute to greater agricultural productivity and reductions in poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

We are also seeing the effect of decentralized energy systems in reducing energy poverty in rural areas.

Replicating and adapting these examples through South-South and triangular cooperation can provide cost-effective and replicable solutions to the challenges faced by many developing countries. 

The UN system has been working with countries in the global South to promote peer-learning, and stands ready to help all countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This includes helping to increase the voice, representation and participation of the South in global political, economic, financial and monetary governance structures and institutions.

We are committed to maintain and increase our support.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda notes that South-South cooperation is an important element of international development cooperation as a complement, not a substitute, to North-South cooperation.

I see three areas where we can strengthen South-South support for implementing Agenda 2030.

First, we must scale up global support for South-South and triangular cooperation through a sustainable South-South support architecture.
Second, let us champion a Multilateral South-South Innovation Fund for the SDGs to support South-South science, technology and innovation.

And third, let us commit to holding a high-level South-South cooperation meeting each year as we work towards achieving the SDGs.

I hope the ideas emerging from the roundtable will contribute to strengthening international development cooperation.

I wish you a productive and successful meeting.

Thank you.