Collaboration among countries of the global South offers a ‘unique pathway’ that accelerates the world toward the key sustainable
development goals of the 2030 Agenda, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a commemorative event for South-South Cooperation (SSC) on Thursday, reports BSS.
The UN Day dedicated to the initiative this year, annually observed on Sept. 12, is particularly significant, as it follows international commitments made at the Second UN High-Level Conference on SSC in March, which coincided with the Buenos Aires Plan of Action's 40th anniversary.
"The past decades have demonstrated the power of South-South cooperation to advance sustainable development," Guterres said in his opening keynote address.
"Driven by a spirit of solidarity, respect for national sovereignty and equal partnership, South-South cooperation has offered concrete solutions to shared development challenges," he said.
Partnerships among countries of the South have carved a path of progress in the developing world, with more children getting an education, child and maternal mortality rates cut by nearly half, and sharp reductions in extreme poverty, he added.
Foreign direct investment outflows from the South have accounted for one-third of all such investment, with one quarter of the world trade happening between developing countries, he said.
Despite progress, developments are "not fast enough to meet our 2030 goals," he warned, citing that 2.4 billion people, the majority living in the South, do not have adequate sanitation, while some 840 million are without electricity, and 885 million lack access to clean water.
"These are stark reminders that even as countries reap higher economic gains, we must work to ensure that prosperity is more broadly shared," he urged.
The secretary-general said he was pleased UN entities "are developing a system-wide strategy on South-South and triangular cooperation," previewing the formal launch of two products targeting each form of partnership.
The South-South Galaxy, a global knowledge sharing and partnership platform, "is aimed to more effectively support Southern countries in connecting, learning and collaborating with partners digitally," he explained.
The new technology was presented at the Buenos Aires summit in March, and was the subject of an official launch event in New York on Thursday.
The UN chief's special envoy and director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Jorge Chediek, explained that this new database consolidates South-South solutions for Southern partners in the UN system, and it is a next-generation platform that will make SSC more of a reality.
Alongside the new database, Guterres welcomed Thursday's release of the new independent report on both SSC and Triangular Cooperation, which he said "reviews the history" of each mechanism.