South-South Expo Concludes with Advances for Homegrown Development

26 Nov 2010

Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, President of the UN General
Assembly Committee on South South Cooperation
(Centre) presides over the closing session of the Third
Global South-South Development Expo.
(Photo: ILO)
GENEVA - The Third Annual Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) concluded Friday at International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva having spotlighted and showcased over 100 partnerships and solutions to poverty challenges that have been developed by developing countries themselves.

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said in her closing statement that development initiatives must focus on country-owned solutions. “Countries want capacity, not charity,” she said. “South-South collaboration allows ingenious, indigenous solutions to flourish and spread.”

This Expo is a unique venue, very different from the usual discussion forums, said Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, President of the UN General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. “It is all about showcasing proven solutions and it effectively responds to UN Member States decisions,” she said.

"In just two years the Programme for South-South Cooperation on Sustainable Development (PSC) between Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica have had a tangible impact, improving people’s lives and the ecosystems around them,” said Marianella Feoli, head of the PSC Secretariat, who showcased the projects at the Expo. “The success formula was independence from donors, emphasis on real reciprocity, equality between the members and the participation not only of governments but also civil society, universities and businesses.” PSC works to facilitate the sharing of low-cost renewable technologies between the three countries involved to promote increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability among others.

Cecile Molinier, Director of UNDP Geneva, said south-south cooperation is increasingly recognized to be an effective approach to human development. “This approach holds much promise in leveraging the collective comparative advantages of countries and communities in similar circumstances to share knowledge and experiences, transfer technologies, and pool resources in the course of implementing various development programmes,” she said.

Joseph Deiss, President of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly and Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also highlighted the importance of innovative knowledge sharing in accelerating development.

“We cannot alone tackle global challenges,” said Eckhard Deutscher, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). “With combined forces and resources, it will be possible to achieve much better results and progress.”

The Expo is 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 knowledge and experience sharing to tackle 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.

Check the GSSD Expo website for multimedia content.

Contact Information

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