Opening Remarks by Ms Beate Trankmann at the 2022 International Forum on South-South Cooperation and Trade in Services

September 3, 2022

Ms Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative, delivers remarks at the 2022 International Forum n South-South Cooperation and Trade in Services

尊敬的张翼副主任, (Deputy DG Zhang Yi, CICETE)

尊敬的曹京华主任, (Executive Director, ANSO Secretariat)

Excellency Shrestha, Ambassador of Nepal

尊敬的李小云教授,(Professor Liu, China Agriculture University)

Distinguished Guests, 大家早上好.

我很高兴 代表 联合国 开发计划署 参加 今天的 论坛,探讨  “加强   南南  技术合作、共促 全球 绿色 发展”。

(On behalf of the UNDP, it is my pleasure to join this session on leveraging South-South and Triangular cooperation for a greener future.)

Our world currently faces an unprecedented combination of global crises.

Last year as many as 163 million people slid back into poverty due to COVID-19, reversing six years of development progress. Currently, new and existing conflicts are pushing up inflation and rising prices of essential goods and energy are further squeezing the world’s poorest.

The climate emergency has reached our front doors. This summer alone saw wildfires scorch Europe, floods sweep across South Asia and drought hit the horn of Africa and southern China. Indeed, the IPCC’s latest report confirmed that half of humanity now lives in the climate danger zone, threatened by extreme temperatures and deadly heatwaves among other hazards [1].

Global CO2 levels are at their highest in history [2] and sadly we are on track to exceed the 1.5C safe limit set in Paris by more than double. Despite this, our addiction to fossil fuels continues with short-term shocks reinforcing our dependency on coal.

As UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, recently put it: we need to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and get them back on track [3].

To revive momentum on the 2030 Agenda, we need greater global solidarity, cooperation and partnership - now more than ever.

Helping countries and communities to ‘build forward better’ from the pandemic and other disasters can ensure that future development is green and inclusive. This is where South-South and Triangular Cooperation has the potential to accelerate development progress and play a transformative role. 

International South-South Cooperation has been rising steadily over the years with developing countries increasingly valuing it as a powerful tool to help countries of the Global South develop solutions that best suit their needs and context. We are seeing developing countries supporting each other in critical areas from sharing healthcare workers to bridge capacity and knowledge gaps, to cooperating in science, technology, and innovation, as well as financing.

China has been a key player in providing development assistance and contributing to tackling shared development challenges. Between 2013 and 2018, China’s foreign assistance totaled around 40 billion dollars.

Against this backdrop, UNDP is working with China’s international development cooperation institutions to inform South-South cooperation engagements so that they are green, inclusive, and benefit the most vulnerable for greater SDG impact.

UNDP provides technical advice to help shape policy, strategies and programmes and ensure that they build on international best practice and standards. We welcome China’s increasing emphasis on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda as guiding frameworks for its engagement with partner countries.

By leveraging our global network UNDP can help facilitate equitable, sustainable, and demand-driven South-South Cooperation between China and partner countries that matches expertise and experience with development needs. Establishing sustainable energy solutions in developing countries is a case in point. This is one area where we see a lot of potential for collaboration, especially given President Xi’s announcement last year to support developing countries in their green energy transformation.

In partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology, UNDP is currently supporting the transition to low-carbon energy generation in countries like Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. These projects promote biogas and solar energy alternatives, while also creating a learning and innovation platform for renewable energy technology and skill transfers.

By combining China’s expertise in renewable energy and UNDP’s experience in providing off-grid energy solutions, we are helping to bring renewable energy to marginalized and excluded populations. This type of triangular cooperation can be replicated to address other frontier development issues such as the low-carbon economy transformation, fighting environmental degradation and directing and incentivizing financing towards the SDGs.

Integrating green and inclusive thinking into policymaking and project-level decision making, including in South-South and Triangular Cooperation, is also key to supercharging progress on the SDGs and building a greener and fairer future for all.

To this end, UNDP’s policy work in China focuses on supporting a just and fair transition to a green economy, with benefits for people and the climate. Moving forward, we will explore the benefits of applying a green lens to China’s development assistance, helping to promote broader understanding of China’s potential to support partner countries’ sustainable development priorities.

UNDP is committed to supporting governments navigate critical development challenges and promotes an inclusive, nature and climate-positive development vision through our evidence-based policy work and global networks. We stand ready to offer our expertise to all development cooperation actors in China, to support South-South and Triangular partnerships that help shape a greener and more just world for all.

Forums such as this provide important opportunities to connect, exchange insights and forge partnerships that can help turn ambition into action.

I thank MOFCOM/CICETE, UNOSSC and ANSO for hosting this event and inviting me to contribute. I wish it every success in strengthening South-South and Triangular Cooperation towards greater impact for the SDG!

Together, let us continue help meet local development needs and create a more sustainable future for everyone, everywhere so that no one is left behind.

恭祝2022南南合作与服务贸易国际论坛  圆满  成功!谢谢!