Statement by M. Nurul Alam, PPD Permanent Observer at UN on item 2 of the agenda of the Nineteenth Session of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation

16th May 2016

Mr. President,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to make brief remarks on the agenda item 2 of the High Level Committee session of South-South Cooperation, on behalf of the Partners in Population and Development (PPD). The Partners, as many of you know, is an intergovernmental organization of 26 developing countries, accounting for close to seventy percent of the population of developing countries. The core mission of PPD is the promotion and strengthening of South-South cooperation in population and development at large and more specifically on reproductive health and issues related to population policies and dynamics including migration, urbanization and ageing. PPD supports its member countries as well as other developing countries in advocacy, policy dialogues, exchange and sharing of knowledge and experience, capacity building and training.

It is evident from the document (SSC/19/1) ‘Review of Progress made in implementing the Buenos Aries Plan of Action’, that despite the economic slowdown in recent years in major economies, South-South cooperation is steadily deepening its impact on development assistance, trade and investment, infrastructure development and remittances. The most recent estimated annual value of $20 billion of South-South cooperation for development highlights this phenomena. It is also apparent from the three trends mentioned in the report that South-South Cooperation is now being increasingly rooted in market driven economic value propositions which goes beyond the initial  mutually supportive benefit-based solidarity philosophy of South-South Cooperation. This is illustrative in the upward trend in South-South trade, the foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the global South and international migrant remittances which continue to outpace official development assistance (ODA) by a wide margin. South-South migration accounted for 37 per cent of global migrant stock, larger than South-North migration at 35 per cent

This period also witnessed the striking strength and centrality of South-South collective thinking, negotiation and knowledge-sharing activities that underpinned the formulation and agreement of three important landmark policy processes during the last two years: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda underlining the means of financing it and the Paris agreement to limit the atmospheric warming that contributes to climate change. South-South cooperation has played an important complementary role in the implementation of global development frameworks such as the Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries, the Samoa Pathway for Small Island Developing States and the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries.

Mr. President,

The UN member countries highly appreciate the role of the United Nations in promoting South-South cooperation. All funds, programmes, special agencies, and other entities of the United Nations making earnest efforts to give full play to their respective advantages, increase input and provide greater support for South-South cooperation in terms of policy coordination, strategic studies, knowledge sharing, technical support, capacity-building, and other areas. This catalytic support is helping to leverage and scale up the benefits to a substantial extent.

A the same time countries and development organizations are adopting a more strategic approach for incorporating and implementing of South-South cooperation in their development and organizational policies. With many developing countries now having strengthened technical and institutional capacity to deal with many of the developmental challenges confronting them, the potential for South-South cooperation as a viable proposition for addressing many of the inherent deficiencies of in developing world is not only evident but also convincing. In the experience of PPD, this observation is equally valid in the area of population and and development including population dynamics and reproductive health.

Mr. President,

In order to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 Framework of Action, it will be vital that the international community deepens South-South and Triangular Cooperation to support stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, to play a greater role in building effective multi-stakeholder partnerships.

With this in mind, a ministerial level strategic dialogue on South-South Cooperation for Population and Development was jointly organized in March 2016 by National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NHFPC), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Partners in Population and Development (PPD), in Beijing, China. More than a 100 delegates, including Ministers, senior Government officials, representatives from relevant UN agencies and international organizations, among others, gathered in Beijing this last month to discuss a roadmap and key actions to further promote South-South Cooperation for population and development for the next five years.

The meeting adopted a consensus declaration entitled ‘The Beijing call for action’ which agreed on the following key actions: an International Forum on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development to be housed by PPD; a Coordination Committee for South-South Cooperation initiatives which Secretariat will be housed at UNFPA, in addition to other actions that seek to strengthen South-South Cooperation aimed at correcting development imbalances and optimize resources. The Beijing call for action  renews our commitment to working together, helping one another, and sharing and applying knowledge, technology, innovation and good practice – wherever they may originate – so that we can move forward a lot faster, individually and collectively.

Mr. President,

Before closing, PPD notes with appreciation the important role of the UN system in promoting and supporting South-South and triangular cooperation and the sincere effort in mainstreaming South South Cooperation in their operational activities, as documented in the UN Report (SSC/19/2).  While the positive trend is very encouraging, more needs to be done within the UN system to put in place a coordinated and systematic approach to South-South cooperation by, as highlighted in the mid-term review of Strategic Framework of the UN Office for SSC. PPD underlines the need for mainstreaming the approach in programming and other frameworks, as well as in making financial provisions to support South-South cooperation efforts at national, regional and global levels. An important ingredient, in this regard which is not often highlighted, is to leverage the strength of and partnering with intergovernmental organizations which are working in the same arena.

In closing, PPD would like to express its strong will and intent to provide continued support to realize the full potential that exists for South-South cooperation in many developing countries in support of their development

I thank you Mr. President, for your kind attention.

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