Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN to the United Nations at the Plenary of the Second Committee of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda item 23, South-South Cooperation
(21 October 2019, CR-2, UNHQs)
At the outset, I would like to align with the statements delivered by the State of Palestine, as the Chair of the G77.
I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his report on this agenda item.
The importance of South-South Cooperation as an effective form of development cooperation has been growing. In fact, the scope of this mechanism has expanded from technical fields to economic, social, cultural, technological, environmental and even political domains. It is complementing global development cooperation to implement the SDGs when in reality the North-South Cooperation has been declining and failing to live up to its promise.
South-South and Triangular Cooperation played an important role in the development trajectory of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we are now implementing our national development Vision 2021 and Vision 2041. We are in the process of graduation from the LDC category and we are conscious that this transition would force us to face new set of challenges as a middle-income country. As we embark on that journey, we believe that a robust South-South and Triangular Cooperation would address our huge development needs and challenges.
We have included South-South Cooperation in our National Policy for Development Cooperation. The Access to Information (A2I) programme of Bangladesh is currently leading three platforms following the South-South Cooperation approaches to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices and find innovative solutions: South-South Network for Public Service Innovation, Alliance for Asian Apprenticeship, and South-Asia Civil Registration Network.
The UN Global Publication on Best Practices has incorporated 5 innovative development solutions of Bangladesh which are Union Digital Centre, SDG Tracker, Empathy Training, Service Innovation Fund and Time Cost Visit Model of public service delivery. The UNOSSC publication “South-South in Action: Citizen Friendly Public Service Innovation in Bangladesh” tells our success in ensuring good governance. We are also trying to facilitate match-making with other southern partners who excelled in different areas as we put 22 best practices from different countries in a report entitled ‘The South- South Match Maker’.
The recently held Bapa+40 Conference produced a forward-looking outcome which requires our serious efforts for its implementation. While our development partners must fulfil their ODA commitments, multilateral, regional and bilateral financial and development institutions need to increase financial resources and technical cooperation to promote South-South Cooperation. As some Southern financial institutions and initiatives such as the New Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, IBSA Fund are extending financial support to the South, new reginal and global banks and funds also need to be set up.
The developed countries must take steps for accelerated technology transfer to the South. However, the developing countries also require stronger collaboration among them to close the technology gap existing within the South.
There must be a more central role for the South in the international economic decision-making. It is important to recognize that to bolster South-South Cooperation, a fundamental change in the global financial and economic governance structure needs to be initiated.
Triangular support should promote Northern support for South-South Cooperation endeavors. It should aim at capacity building of the South for its economic and social advancement and environmental sustainability.
The reformed United Nations Development System should undertake more activities to support South-South and triangular cooperation taking into account national ownership, leadership, and country-specific needs.
Considering the importance of institutional framework for advancing South-South and Triangular Cooperation, Bangladesh is going to set up a South-South Centre on Knowledge and Innovation which will leverage the existing systems, resources and expertise in the area of knowledge and innovation particularly in the wake of 4IR.
Also, Bangladesh had proposed in BAPA+40 Conference to establish a Forum of Development/Finance/Economic/Foreign Ministers of the Southern countries to discuss, dialogue and explore the potential of the Southern countries. We are now working with other countries to lay down the scope of this Forum.
I thank you.