Excellencies, Distinguished guests,
It is a pleasure to address this event, which comes at a critical time in the arc of our sustainable development story.
As we strive to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must focus firmly on how the poor and most vulnerable disproportionately feel the impacts of the economic, social and environmental shocks.
Poverty in developing countries remains a significant challenge.
While extreme poverty rates have fallen in past years, it is projected that between 70 and 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic.
By the end of 2020, an additional 265 million people could face acute food shortages.
Coupled with the heightened risks of the climate emergency, the urgency of eradicating poverty in all its forms heightens by the day.
We must remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate poverty, while also addressing the gender gap, the digital gap and other inequalities.
This is our shared responsibility.
South-South Cooperation shows developing countries leading the way. Rooted in solidarity, and using both financial resources and technical assistance, developing countries are paving their own paths, offering an invaluable complement to North-South Cooperation.
In addressing the immediate impacts of COVID-19, developing countries worked hard to strengthen countries’ capacities, exchange information and good practices, and promote coordinated action.
The world should welcome and encourage the growing innovation and dynamism in the South-South space. Our hope is that this momentum will be built across countries, to improve multilateral cooperation and to get on track toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The United Nations will continue to champion South-South Cooperation through its revitalized UN development system, to support country-led programmes and promote regional endeavors that enhance knowledge sharing and peer learning.
The BAPA+40 outcome document anchors us in a commitment to better coordination and more effective support.
In this Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs, South-South Cooperation can help galvanize our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework. It can allow governments to benefit from the tremendous experience of other developing countries around critical areas such as expanding social protection; ensuring more inclusive economic growth; and building more effective and transparent institutions. It can also drive effective action on cross-border challenges such as illicit financial flows; climate adaptation or migration.
In all areas of cooperation, we must push ourselves to further innovate, collaborate and cooperate. That is the only way we will take action to scale, leave no one behind and support balanced development across the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
The rich history of South-South Cooperation can inspire us on this path, in this time when solidary and transformation are needed more than ever.
I wish you a successful conference.