Helen Clark: Statement prepared for the High-level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation

Sep 26, 2015

Your Excellency, Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China,

Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to join you today. I thank the President for his leadership and commitment to South-South Co-operation, and to China’s growing partnership with UNDP.

The move of close to 700 million people out of poverty in China has been a tremendous achievement, and one in which there is great international interest.

UNDP is privileged to have been a partner of China on its development journey.

China’s engagement in South-South Co-operation has long enabled its development experiences, innovations, and solutions to be shared with other developing countries.

Since the signing in 2010 of the Memorandum of Understanding for strengthened co-operation between China and UNDP, we have been pleased not only to continue our support for China’s development, but also to engage actively with China in South-South and Triangular Co-operation. UNDP places great value on this partnership with China.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets launched yesterday by World Leaders presents a multi-trillion-dollar challenge. Achieving the goals will require far more than grant aid. Trade, investment, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, and innovation across the Global South will also be crucial to achieving the SDGs. Overall, South-South co-operation is a complement to and not a substitute for traditional development assistance.

Major new initiatives of China, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the "Belt and Road" initiative have significant potential to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda, as has the New Development Bank of the BRICS. We also welcome the announcements by the President of the People’s Republic of China, of impressive new initiatives to further scale-up China’s support for South-South Co-operation for Sustainable Development.

UNDP is committed to working alongside China on South-South and Triangular Co-operation, and to continuing to support China in sharing its knowledge, experience, and innovations with the world.

We support the UN Secretary-General’s proposals outlined in his speech at this event today. In addition, to help scale-up global support for South-South and Triangular Co-operation, UNDP is exploring establishing a virtual platform to enable the global exchange of knowledge and expertise among governments and private sector participants. This will enable more people to utilize and benefit from South-South co-operation, share innovative solutions, and secure mutually beneficial development outcomes. We will work closely with the UN Office of South South Co-operation, which we host, on this.

We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with China on development within China and on support for South South and triangular co-operation.

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