Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Keynote Statement at the High Level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change, COP22 Marrakesh

Nov 14, 2016

The landmark agreements reached in 2015 testify to our common understanding that we need to address global issues inclusively and holistically. The entry into force of the Paris agreement, just ten days ago on 4 November, gives us great cause to celebrate here in Marrakesh, as it is a very clear statement we all stand committed. This commitment was further echoed in Rwanda, on 14 October, when 197 governments agreed on the Kigali Amendment for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons.  

The intentions captured in these agreements set the bar very high, and our collective global task now is to foster the partnerships needed to address the complicated challenges that lie ahead of us.

Southern Partners are already working together to address this critical issue, in collaboration with the North.  A growing number of development actors are providing valuable new dimensions of cooperation for developing countries to leverage resources. including through the expanding set of international finance institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Belt and Road initiative.

In this regard, China has been demonstrating leadership in South-South Cooperation through clear resource commitments, global engagements and a strategic vision. The Government has for instance pledged US$ 3.1 million to assist developing countries in addressing climate change challenges through South-South cooperation, demonstrating its strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

UNDP is committed to fostering stronger ties linked to these opportunities between the development, investment and trade nexus, and between China and other developing countries, to ensure that development dividends from investment initiatives are maximized for the benefit of local populations that are most impacted by climate change.

At UNDP, we see the significant catalytic potential of South-South cooperation as an effective modality to address climate change issues. In the areas of climate change and environmental sustainability, UNDP delivers a portfolio of USD 2.8 billion, supporting over 140 countries to transition to zero-carbon, climate resilient development. A central element of this work is facilitating partnerships, including through South-South cooperation.    

We have also developed a corporate strategy to scale up our support on South-South and Triangular Cooperation. As a core service package, UNDP is establishing a global development solution exchange —called “SSMart for SDGs”.  This is a system which will enable all partners to benefit from an open and vibrant virtual marketplace, for broadened opportunities to South-South cooperation. Climate Change will be featured as a priority thematic window on this platform.

Since establishing its presence in China in 1979, UNDP has implemented close to 1,000 pilot initiatives worth more than one billion USD – many initiatives on renewable energy solutions, energy efficiency, and a range of climate change mitigating actions. Our cooperation with the Chinese government has long focused on national implementation and ownership, and more recently on South-South cooperation, taking China’s vast experience to other developing countries. Our global network of over 170 offices and representations puts us in a unique position to act as a bridge for connecting developing country demands to the expertise and resources offered by South-South Cooperation provider countries, such as China. We see a very strong demand from the global South in tapping into this new paradigm.  

Whether through conferences such as our gathering today, longer term trilateral cooperation initiatives and projects, tailored policy research, or concrete matching supply and demand initiatives, our starting premise draws on in-depth understanding and analysis of national and local contexts.

We look forward to working with you all towards our common goal in maximizing the impact of South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development, for a climate-resilient planet and a better life for all.

Thank you for your attention.

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