As prepared for delivery.
Señor Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto de la Republica Argentina, Embajador Jorge Faurie (as President of the Conference)
H.E. President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a privilege for me to offer some closing remarks for this highly successful Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.
Throughout the past three days, we welcomed over 3800 participants, at the highest levels with (160) member states including (6) Heads of State, (2) Vice Prime Ministers and (61) Ministers from around the world as well as (23) intergovernmental organizations, (13) specialized agencies, civil society, the private sector, and academic institutions.
This participation – plus the over 14 million people who followed the discussions virtually - is an indication of the interest and engagement in taking South-South Cooperation to the next chapter.
As a true commemoration of the historic Buenos Aires Plan of Action adopted here over 40 years ago, the BAPA+40 Outcome Document will serve as a reference for future initiatives of South-South and triangular collaboration.
The United Nations is deeply appreciative of the leadership and support of the Government of Argentina in hosting us.
The strong collaboration between the Government of Argentina, the United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the UNDP Country Office in Argentina, helped us deliver a successful conference with concrete outcomes.
If we reflect on the changes that have taken place in the global economy, in development, in human wellbeing since the signing of first BAPA 40 years ago, it’s clear that there are no limits to what we can achieve when we combine forces.
We have forged new partnerships for current and future concerted efforts and seen the spectrum of opportunities available to us.
Let us use the understanding that we have gained here and the partnerships we have forged to double down on the achievements of the the last 40 years to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.
The conference clearly demonstrated how countries can share experiences and adapt ideas to their own contexts. These range from:
- Kenya’s mobile phone-based money transfer services being expanded to Afghanistan, South Africa and India;
- To Mexico's experience in diversifying corn products to improve health and nutrition in Kenya;
- To Cuba's support in the fight against Ebola in West Africa;
- To lessons from Chile to the Caribbean countries on product labeling as a measure to end obesity;
- To knowledge of strategies to reduce hunger shared by Colombia with Mesoamerican countries.
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
We will all leave this conference with a lot of “homework” to do, but also many opportunities.
The responsibility is now on us to take what we have heard, the linkages that we have made and the connections to the next level.
This includes the need to tackle climate change, address inequalities, as well as improve institutional arrangements both within and between countries to improve cooperation and trade. South-South cooperation will be a vital tool in tackling these challenges.
The fact is that we simply cannot achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unless we leverage this cooperation, share practical solutions and give each other the support, inspiration and indeed push in the right direction.
Throughout our discussions we also saw a growing recognition of the importance and complementarity of South-South and triangular cooperation.
We have also keenly recognized that investment by multilateral, regional and bilateral financial and development institutions in South-South and triangular cooperation will be vital. The United Nations is actively pursuing innovative ways to expand the financing for SDG implementation, including South-South Cooperation.
In addition to all of you, many actors from the United Nations family have been involved in these efforts.
I would like to take this opportunity as the UNDP Administrator to state that UNDP welcomes and is proud to continue to be entrusted with hosting the United Nations Office on South-South Cooperation, since 1974.
We look forward to working closely with the UNOSSC to implement the decisions you have taken here this week and will forge a stronger collaborative partnership between the UN system-wide reach of the Office and the work of UNDP.
In closing, I would like to warmly thank the Government of Argentina for generously hosting us in Buenos Aires. The conference would not have been such a success without the leadership of President Macri and his government.
We will all leave BAPA+40 with increased vigor to build more prosperous, inclusive, resilient and secure societies.
Thank you also to all Member states present here for their determination to work in a cooperative spirit. I acknowledge and thank also the invaluable contributions from civil society, the private sector, and many other stakeholders participating in the conference.
The conference has brought the necessary momentum and provided us with a roadmap (i.e. Outcome Document) for South-South and triangular cooperation.
Here, I wish to join others in thanking the co-facilitators of the Outcome Document, Her Excellency Ambassador Audra Plepytė and His Excellency, Mr. Adonia Ayebare Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Lithuania and Uganda to the United Nations, respectively, for their outstanding leadership.
The reinvigorated UN System has listened keenly to the wishes of the delegates and it stands ready to strongly support this momentum of change behind South-South cooperation.
I thank all my colleagues in the UN family, particularly Catherine Pollard (Secretary of the Conference) and Jorge Chediek (UNOSSC). Thank you for the work of your dedicated staff that made this conference a success.
It is true that the multilateral development system comes away from BAPA+40 in a better position to support South-South cooperation and implement the 2030 Agenda.
I thank all of you for the passion, knowledge and appetite for sustainable development that you have shown and shared with each other this week.
Finalmente, agradezco a los mas de cien voluntarios de la Universidad de Buenos Aires que trabajaron largas horas para asegurarse de que nuestro trabajo fuera efectivo.