Rebeca Grynspan: Introductory Statement at the Presentation of the Strategic Framework of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS

29 Jan 2014

Introductory statement
by
Ms. Rebeca Grynspan
UNDP Associate Administrator
at the
Presentation of the Strategic Framework of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS,
New York

Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,
Dear Colleagues and Friends.

Welcome to this session on the Strategic Framework for the UN Office for South-South Co-operation - an important document that outlines the focus and work programme of the office for the next four years. UNDP, as a proud host of the Office, welcomes the Framework and, in particular, appreciates its clear attention to the Office’s strategic role in support of global and UN system wide policy making and coherence on South-South cooperation. I know that many of you highlighted the importance of South-South and triangular co-operation at the opening session of the Board last Monday, which is a testament to the increased prominence this form of partnerships is gaining around the world.

Before I hand over to Yiping Zou, the Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, allow me to first to briefly elaborate on the broader development context and set-out UNDP’s commitment to South-South and triangular cooperation, including to the UN Office.

In recent years, the developing world has been experiencing significant growth rates and rise in living standards – we documented this trend in our 2013 Human Development Report. Close to 85% of the world’s population live in the South, where a significant number of people are rapidly attaining higher income levels. In a sluggish global economy, South-South trade continues to expand, and has become a major driver for overall growth in international trade.

Amidst these and many other significant trends, we also see that despite the huge achievement of halving extreme poverty rates, poverty has not declined as fast. This shows that we need to promote pro-poor, job-rich, and inclusive growth so that people are not left behind. Hence, it is not surprising that as the international community focuses on designing a new development agenda for the years beyond 2015, the importance of promoting poverty eradication and reducing inequality within the context of sustainable development is at the forefront.

It is now well established that the South has accumulated rich and diversified knowledge, and innovated on practical and relevant development solutions for various challenges the world is facing. Developing countries increasingly play leadership roles in sharing knowledge, forming common agendas, and taking collective actions in advancing development at global and regional levels. These transformations challenge the United Nations to rethink how we can best leverage the opportunities that South-South and triangular cooperation presents for the benefit of developing countries, as well as the global development agenda.

This is a task which UNDP takes very seriously, and, indeed, our newly approved Strategic Plan establishes South-South and triangular cooperation as one of the core ways of working for the organization - as a knowledge broker, capacity developer, and cooperation facilitator. We definitely have made a broad, deep and multilayered commitment to supporting the South-South agenda.     

Our promotion of South-South and triangular cooperation takes place through two key entry points: first, through UNDP’s hosting of the United Nations Office for South-South Co-operation, to which we attach great importance, and, second, through UNDP’s country and programmatic reach and resources, which will form the basis of our envisaged role as the provider of a global operational arm for South-South and triangular cooperation, also accessible to the wider UN development system.

These two entry points complement and mutually reinforce each other, and are both essential for UNDP’s delivery on South-South and triangular cooperation, as mandated by our Executive Board and the QCPR, and also to further broaden the South-South agenda.

As you may have heard during this mornings’ meeting, UNDP’s global and regional programmes address South-South and triangular co-operation as an important avenue for taking these programmes forward. We have also changed our project modalities in ways which will enable our country offices to implement multi-country South-South and triangular cooperation programmes with a common result framework, clear operational and financial mechanisms, and accommodating both financial and in-kind contributions. All these efforts will ultimately be guided by a UNDP corporate strategy on South-South Cooperation, which is under development.

Alongside our efforts of mainstreaming South-South cooperation in our programmes at all levels, also critical to UNDP’s promotion of South-South and triangular cooperation are the strategic partnerships that we have formed with a number of countries.
 
Through our Global Policy Centers we address key development issues such as private sector engagement, promotion of excellence in public service, and sustainable development. We  also benefit directly from the development experiences of very successful countries in the Global South: the Republic of Korea, India, Brazil, Singapore, Turkey, Kenya, among others, as we work to spread development best practices further afield in the spirit of South-South and triangular cooperation.

Essential to UNDP’s efforts is also our continued commitment to providing the UN Office for South-South Cooperation with the confidence and the means for it to perform effectively its functions as a global and UN system-wide coordinator for South-South cooperation. We see this as a two way relationship, with both the Office and UNDP leveraging each other’s expertise, strength and mandates, and reinforcing our collective synergies.

As I said at the beginning, we are convinced that the Strategic Framework being presented today will serve to further strengthen the Office’s delivery of its mandated functions and enable it to continue to provide much valued support to the United Nations system in its efforts to promote South-South and triangular cooperation.

Now, Mr. President, it is time to give the floor to the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South cooperation, to present the Strategic Framework that will guide the Office over the coming four years.

Thank you.


Leadership
Rebeca

Rebeca Grynspan was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective 1 February, 2010. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan was elected Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.

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