Statement of H.E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations and President of the United Nations High-level Committee on South South-South Cooperation at the Grand Closing Ceremony of the Global South-South Development EXPO 2014 Washington, D.C., Friday 21 November 2014
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning and thank you for the tenacity that brings us to the final phase of the 2014 Global South-South Development Expo.
- Before we bid each other goodbye, allow me on behalf of the UN General Assembly’s High-level Committee on South-South cooperation to reflect with you on the many achievements we have witnessed here this week in regard to scalable and replicable Southern development solutions.
- Against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to shape the development agenda for the next fifteen years, this Expo has provided a forum to envisage the role that South-South and triangular cooperation should play to achieve the goals that the international community chooses to adopt in 2015. More than 140 Directors-General of development cooperation and other representatives representing over 30 countries have all shade much light on the policies, strategies, institutional and financial arrangements needed for South-South and triangular cooperation to best contribute to the development agenda beyond 2015.
- Much of the socioeconomic progress attained by the global South in recent years, is attributable to effective policy choices and actions taken by developing countries individually and collectively. By showcasing such policies, strategies and practical solutions, this Expo has indeed put a spotlight on many of the drivers of growth and sustainable development in the rising South.
- The exhibition area has displayed more than 70 of the most successful and innovative Southern development solutions that are worth scaling up in order to benefit more people all across the developing world.
- Now it may be necessary to put all the effective solutions together in accessible format or website, so that others can replicate them depending on their situation and needs.
- As many as 656 policymakers, development practitioners and experts have come from near and far to the eight scaling up sessions and born witness to the many strategic development solutions they have devised to address numerous development challenges in strategic sectors, across regions and among geographical neighbors in the global South.
- As the world grapples with the plight of Ebola affected countries in West Africa, UNDP has used this Expo to lead a discussion among various partners on the linkages between poverty, health and epidemics, thus underscoring the need for an integrated multifaceted response to the disease. The discussions have also demonstrated the practical measures taken by developing countries in support of Ebola affected countries in the spirit of South-South cooperation.
- On the critically important issue of food security, FAO and IFAD with a range of other UN agencies and stakeholders have displayed very practical approaches to bolstering national and regional agricultural systems, school feeding programmes sustained by local farmers and financial services that benefit rural youth.
- South-South solutions to the existential threats posed by climate change have been central to the debates at the Global South-South Development Expo this week. UNEP has highlighted South-South pathways to viable options for protecting the planet and human well-being at the same time, including models for sustainable green cities, harnessing renewable energy from geothermal sources and community-based marine conservation.
- In the health sector, PAHO, ISAGS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have shown that South-South and triangular cooperation provide frameworks to support countries in their efforts to reduce morbidity, mortality and poverty through collaborative initiatives that strengthen health systems. They have also reminded the international community that the growing threat posed by non-communicable diseases, particularly in the global South, require greater sharing of relevant solutions and best practices.
- The session on accessible tourism has reminded the international community to be just and inclusive by designing policies and strategies that enable handicapped people to access and enjoy tourist sites without any hindrance.
- As many actors step forward to play an active role in South-South and triangular cooperation, UNECE has provided invaluable insights on the standards and best practices that ought to be heeded in the formation and sustenance of public-private-partnerships. One area where broader partnerships are critically important lies in the acceleration, production and diffusion of green technologies as WIPO, UNEP and other partners have effectively demonstrated at this Expo. They have also reminded us of the need to have a framework for the protection of intellectual assets if innovators are to freely exchange knowledge and experience as they go on with the invaluable business of generating more innovations.
- The pressing goal of poverty eradication is impossible to reach without decent jobs. ILO has served us very well by coming to this and earlier expos with practical solutions to deepen our understanding of the fundamental principles that are the bedrock of the rights at work, labour standards, employment creation, social protection mechanisms and social dialogue—all essential components of the strategies needed to tackle sustainable development challenges from the perspective of decent work for all.
- Regional neighborhoods are the primary theaters for South-South cooperation and the Inter American Bank has given us a glimpse at how regional neighbors in Latin America form strong partnerships to provide regional public goods, including frameworks for the collective public procurement of medicines and other healthcare goods and services. One important lesson to draw from this best practice is the fact that South-South and triangular collective action of this kind can and should be applied or scaled up for service delivery in numerous sectors.
- The Expo this week is a genuine demonstration of the United Nations system delivering services to the international community as one coherent team backed by its many partners. We are all highly indebted to the Organization of American States for sharing these magnificent premises with us and for its unfathomable hospitality this week. To my good friend Mr. Yiping Zhou and to his resourceful team at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, I must say that this Expo and your many other endeavors have made a lasting mark on the terrain of international cooperation for development and we are very grateful.
- To partners in government, civil society and the private sector and to the United Nations organizations, agencies, funds and programmes that have graced this event with active participation, please accept my heartfelt thanks and best wishes for safe trip back home.