Under the theme of "Promotion of South-South Cooperation for Development," a High Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation
took place on December 1-3, 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was the second of its kind in 31 years and its purpose was to highlight growing political and economic ties within the developing.
The three-day Conference highlighted the growing political and economic ties within the developing world as countries of the South assume leading roles in handling global issues ranging from economic recovery to food security and climate change. It also reviewed 30 years of progress since the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1978.
“The many challenges now facing the international community called for stronger and more innovative cooperation between developing countries -– particularly neighboring States -- as well as between them and developed countries” said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro as she opened the conference. “Development does not occur in a vacuum. It has proved to be most successful when coupled with strategies to increase cross-border trade and investment.”
Organized in the form of plenary meetings and interactive multi-sector stakeholder round tables, the conference had two sub-themes: (i) Strengthening of the role of the United Nations system in supporting South-South and triangular cooperation; and (ii) South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Development: complementarities, specificities, challenges and opportunities”.
Ms. Migiro said that since 1978, millions of men, women and children had been lifted out of extreme poverty and a number of developing countries had achieved the fastest pace of economic growth in human history. The international community could only welcome higher South-South investments in agriculture, education, health and infrastructure development, particularly in Africa.
At the same time, she added that South and North alike faced multiple crises, including hunger -- which now afflicted an unprecedented 1 billion people -- as well as unemployment, slumping trade and looming climate change. Solutions to those and other ills required stronger cooperation, starting with the immediate neighbors of all countries, no matter their economic status. However, South-South cooperation should not replace North-South cooperation, but instead complement it, she stressed, pledging the Secretary-General’s and her own continued commitment to bringing countries together towards that goal. “Together we can harness the great endowments of the South and achieve the internationally agreed development goals.”
For more information about this event, visit: http://southsouthconferencekenya.org/en/
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