2016 Global South-South Development Expo Opens with Call for Greater South-South Solidarity – from Syria to the Sustainable Development Goals
DUBAI, UAE (31 October 2016) – The United Nations Global South-South Development Expo, an annual event highlighting Southern innovations in tackling southern poverty challenges, opened to widespread applause today. The Expo is being hosted by the Government of the United Arab Emirates through its Zayed International Foundation for the Environment in Dubai from 31 October to 3 November.
Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan opened the conference by pointing out that the global development cooperation landscape is changing rapidly. “Developing countries and emerging economies have become key actors not only in trade and investment, but also in global and regional development,” she said. “They have amassed rich, ground-breaking and diversified development practices and are actively supporting each other to find practical and relevant policy solutions.”
Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), highlighted the achievements in the past 38 years since Member States convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to support technical cooperation among developing countries though BAPA – the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. “This year,” he said, “UN Member States called for the commemoration of BAPA+40 in 2018, where we will focus South-South efforts toward achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
H.E. Ambassador Richard Nduhuura, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nations and President of the High-level Committee on South South-South Cooperation, emphasized that the pivotal role of South-South cooperation has recently been highlighted not only in the context of Agenda 2030, but also in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“We are keen on achieving an integration between countries,” said Dr. Mohammed bin Fahad, Chairman of the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment. “We know the problems but we are trying to find real solutions that are tangible, to prove there are [Southern] leaders who are really leading the way.”
Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, pointed out in his opening speech that developed and developing countries should “set aside the old divides” and find ways to work together to confront poverty challenges, which exist in the North and South. “All of us have work to do,” he said. “And if we don’t do that work together, we will not meet the goals we have set.”
Since its inception in 2008, the GSSD Expo has actively showcased and promoted best practices from hundreds of partner countries, United Nations agencies, private-sector enterprises and civil society organizations. Past Expos have taken place in New York, Washington DC, Vienna, Geneva, Rome and Nairobi.
More than 70 exhibits are on display at the Expo. In one example, representatives of India, Brazil and South Africa launched their 2016 IBSA Fund report at the inauguration of a special exhibit highlighting the achievements of the $31 Million IBSA Fund.
“The many results of the IBSA Fund activities across various developing countries are a testimony to the impact delivered by South-South partnerships,” said Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC. “We are very pleased to provide the platform of this global Expo to highlight the goals and accomplishments of this and other important initiatives which support South-South cooperation.”
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For more information and to register: expo.unsouthsouth.org