South-South expo showcasing successful development solutions

22 Nov 2010

Celso Amorim, Minister of External Relations
of Brazil, addresses the participants of
the GSSD Expo 2010.
(Photo: UNDP)
GENEVA
- The Third Annual Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) opened today in Geneva, with more than 600 delegates from 150 countries.  The Expo was designed to spotlight, showcase and promote innovative solutions to poverty challenges that have been developed by developing countries themselves.

Michele Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director and former president of Chile, said in her opening statement that developing countries do not need to depend on industrialized countries to solve their problems.   “Innovative development solutions are coming from the South,” she said. “The solutions are where the challenges are.”

“The challenges are clear, but they can be overcome. Cooperation is essential,” stressed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his statement to the opening session of GSSD Expo 2010, hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and organized in conjunction with more than 20 U.N. agencies and partners.

The theme of the GSSD Expo is “Solutions, Solutions, Solutions!” as a concrete response to the strong commitment made by the Secretary-General and the UNDP Administrator to help the Global South realize its shared aspirations of achieving sustainable and equitable development.

“The South is a font of ideas and actions that are helping to tackle the major challenges of our day,” Ban said. A host of complex and cross-cutting challenges, including persistent poverty, energy and food scarcity, climate change, global health pandemics, and a lack of social protections for vulnerable populations will be addressed during the GSSD Expo.

While much of the world has faced difficulty in their efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals, several countries of the South have achieved major successes. “No region of the world has a monopoly of wisdom or appropriate solutions,” said Mr. Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General.

Celso Amorim, Minister of External Relations of Brazil, said the biggest challenge surrounding South-South cooperation were the “mental barriers and prejudices” linked to this issue. He added that South-South cooperation is part of an “attitude that has to do with trade, investment and politics.”

Since its inception in 2008, the GSSD Expo has featured contributions from hundreds of partner countries, United Nations agencies, private sector enterprises and civil society organizations.  The six thematic areas of GSSD 2010 are: (1) Social Protection and Decent Work; (2) Food Security; (3) Climate Change & Environment; (4) HIV/AIDS; (5) Global Health; and (6) Education.

“South-South cooperation is no longer just a hot topic. It is real development in action,” said Yiping Zhou, director of the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in UNDP.

Contact Information

Rogel Nuguid, Chief of Staff
Special Unit for South-South Cooperation
E-mail: rogel.nuguid@undp.org 

Adam Rogers, UNDP Geneva
adam.rogers@undp.org
tel: +41 22 917 8541
mobile +41 79 849 0679