The developing countries were praised for their role in global growth by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The global body is preparing to hold as South-South conference.
In recent year, more than half of all global growth has been accounted for by Southern countries, Guterres said in his opening remarks at the Global South-South Development Expo 2018.
About one third of global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows is accounted for by FDI outflows from the South and over one quarter of all world trade is comprised by intra-South trade, the UN chief noted.
He said that last year millions of families were taken out of poverty because of the remittances from migrant workers to low- and middle-income countries which touched $466 billion.
“Innovative forms of Southern-led knowledge sharing, technology transfer, emergency response and livelihood recovery are transforming lives,” he said, adding that “new financial institutions have helped generate infrastructure and sustainable development projects around the world.”
Claiming that more than 700 million people still are not able to meet basic needs, the secretary-general also said that the gains from development have not been spread equally.
The expo is about “harnessing the power and potential of the South for the common good” and “sharing homegrown Southern solutions for sustainable development”, Guterres said while talking about how to address the problem.
“We are at an optimal moment of South-South relationship that is shown by the economic development of Southern countries in the last few years,” said Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
Between 1995 and 2006, there was a an average growth of 13 per cent in the South-South exports compared to the global average of 8 per cent, she pointed while referring to the fast trade growth among the developing world.
“The value of South-South trade increased seven times. It went from 0.6 billion dollars in 1995 to 4 billion dollars in 2016,” she added.
While being certain of the potential, Espinosa also stressed on the importance of South-South cooperation being viewed as a model for world alliances and for such cooperation achieving sustainable development goals.
476 South-South cooperation initiatives across 127 countries worldwide have been launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), said Achim Steiner, administrator of the UNDP. The programs included participation from agencies of national governments, the private sector and the civil society.
“The UNDP’s work today is unthinkable without South-South cooperation,” Steiner said. “It is part of the fabric, the mandate and the deliverables of the UNDP.”
The annual expo is organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) along with other UN agencies and other partners.
According to UNOSSC Director Jorge Chediek, the expo saw the participation of more than 850 delegates from over 120 member states along with about 50 institutional partners from various UN member states, private sectors and regional organizations.
(Adapted from XinhuaNet.com)