As prepared for delivery.
I am pleased to welcome you all today and to co-host this event with a devoted promoter of South-South Cooperation: H.E. Ambassador Adonya Ayebare, Permanent Representative of Uganda and President of the High-level Committee for South-South Cooperation.
The 2030 Agenda sets the bar high for all of us to work together to transform our world, in the way we live, work, and do business.
Poverty eradication is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, and so is the commitment to leave no-one behind. Achieving it will by no means be easy, and broad-based partnerships – as recognized in Goal 17 - as well as sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources, will be key.
There is significant evidence showing that knowledge exchanged among Southern countries can be more relevant and adaptable to the specific development challenges they face. Reflecting this, South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSC/TrC) has been steadily on the rise over the past decades, and now plays a transformative role in advancing sustainable development.
UNDP actively supports countries’ efforts to promote and harness the potential of SSC and TrC. For example:
• UNDP supported the establishment of Lesothos’ Human Rights Commission, through a South-South partnership with the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights and the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions;
• In Kyrgyzstan, UNDP facilitated the sharing of Serbian knowledge and experience to investigate crimes of violence against women; and,
• through the GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP, India is supporting ‘women solar engineer’ projects across Africa and Asia to empower poor, illiterate women. You will hear more about this exciting initiative later today.
Now, looking ahead, how can we, as development partners, become even more effective in leveraging the full potential of South-South and triangular cooperation? Promoting exchanges among equals and drawing on the power of systematic peer learning is a challenge that UNDP is willing to take up.
This is the idea behind the SDG marketplace - “SSMart for SDGs” – the objective of which is to help scaling up successful development solutions by facilitating the matching of development needs and offers across the Global South.
In essence, it is a global market place through which Southern governments, policy makers, and practitioners – at all levels – can share and access proven development solutions, designed and implemented in the South, to drive SDG achievement.
For instance, the Government of Morocco has been testing an interesting approach on religious tolerance and social cohesion among prison populations. The details of this approach are now available on SSMart, for other countries to access – and may indeed be interesting to those countries faced with challenges of radicalization and violent extremism.
I encourage all of you to engage in SSMart and promote it as a global, neutral and real-time platform, based on country leadership and demands, which can greatly facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges.
In conclusion, let me stress that it is only by capitalizing on existing knowledge, and pooling countries’ know-how, that we will realize the full potential of South-South Cooperation.
Scaling-up influential solutions from the South can not only accelerate the SDG achievement, but to do so in a sustainable way.
We count on the many representatives of the Global South present here today – as well as those from the North - to seize this unique opportunity to capture and infuse knowledge where knowledge is needed to make a difference.