Statement by Ambassador Amina Mohamed at the 17th session of the UN High-Level Committee on South - South Cooperation Wed, May 23, 2012

High - Level Opening Plenary Meeting 22 May 2012

H. E. Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al - Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly and Permanent representative of Qatar to the United Nations.

H. E. John Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, and President of the High - level Committee on South - South Cooperation.

Ms. Helen Clark, Under Secretary General, United Nations and Administrator UNDP

H. E. Mourad BENMEHIDI, Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations and Chair of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Yiping Zhou, Director UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation

Your Excellencies

Directors General for development cooperation agencies

Colleagues from the UN family

Distinguished delegates

Dear Friends and colleagues

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to attend the 17th Session of the United Nations High - Level Committee on South-South Cooperation, and I wish to start by conveying to you, Mr. President, and to all the delegates all the very best wishes from Mr. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP, for a very successful session.

Mr. President,

This 17th Session of the High - Level Committee is, for UNEP and many other partners present here today, an important juncture for convening the multitude of South - South actors in the lead-up to the global event that is no doubt at the forefront of so many of our minds and agendas: the Rio+20 Summit, a few short weeks away. It affords us all the opportunity to contribute to the Rio+20 summit outcomes.

The deliberations of this session this week have the unique potential to highlight the vital role that South - South cooperation can and must play in sustainable development efforts across a variety of sectors and programs; a mere glance at the broad range of representation in today's opening session highlights the truly multi - dimensional nature of South - South interactions taking place in today's global financial, environmental, health, and development arenas, among others. The opportunity - the need, in fact - for synergy across these sectors and between regions of the Global South has never been more pronounced than in the pursuit of a post-2015 roadmap for sustainable development.

Key to this objective is the promotion of a global green economy aimed at fostering economic development, poverty reduction, job creation, energy efficiency and access, food security, and growth underpinned by sustainability and responsible stewardship of the Earth's resources. For an increasing number of countries of the South- and indeed the North- Green Economy is emerging as a potential catalytic focus for embedding sustainability within economies. Here South-South cooperation has a critical role to play, as it seeks to capitalize on shared expertise, knowledge, and South-specific technologies that have the potential to fuel sustainable economies in the developing world and the global economy at large.

As a member of the UN family, UNEP subscribes to and is fully committed to the central role of the UN in systematically advocating and supporting South-South and triangular Cooperation. Mr. President, this becomes particularly important as the complexities of today's global challenges demand enhanced partnerships. We are convinced that this is a role that the UN will continue to be called on to play in the coming years and more specifically in the post 2015 development landscape.

We certainly share the view of the United Nations serving as an advocate for and convener of policy dialogue, a knowledge broker for capacity development, a partnership builder, and an analyst and progress monitor for South-South and triangular cooperation and its contribution towards meeting internationally agreed development goals.

Mr. President

We at UNEP fully appreciate the outcomes of key global processes that in the recent past reiterated the importance of South-South cooperation in overcoming structural challenges to development. In particular, I wish to recall the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020, adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held last year, which serves as an important frame of reference for our work.

The outcome of the Busan Forum is another significant landmark in the evolving global discourse regarding the increasingly crucial role of South-South cooperation as a major driver of development cooperation.

Against this background, UNEP continues to make internal strategic and structural adjustments to better respond to the evolving perceptions about South-South Cooperation and its place in the development arena. Consequently, and arising out of the mandate of the Bali Strategic Plan, which established South-South cooperation as the primary implementation mechanism for the achievement of capacity building objectives, UNEP continues to engage and actively promote systematic incorporation of South-South approaches in the implementation of its biennial programmes of work.

Permit me Mr. President to cite one example of ways through which UNEP aims to facilitate interaction of all stakeholders in applying South-South and triangular cooperation to address shared environmental sustainable challenges. UNEP has created an information-sharing Exchange Mechanism to serve as a portal for innovative approaches, transparency, and dynamic collaboration across sectors, actors, and regions of the Global South.

I am pleased to announce that tomorrow, 23rd of May, UNEP will officially launch the UNEP South-South Cooperation Exchange Mechanism during the thematic session on "appropriate technology transfer, employment creation, social cohesion and infrastructure development." This online forum for dialogue, news, events, and case studies on environmental South-South cooperation is intended as a tool for widespread use among UN and non-UN partners across a broad range of initiatives and projects.

Mr. President;

UNEP is indeed grateful to the UN High-Level Committee and the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation for the opportunity to contribute to the process of advancing South-South cooperation.

In conclusion Mr. President, we remain committed to playing a central role in global South-South efforts to cultivate a green economy and sustainable development pathways going forward.

Thank you for your attention.

 
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