UN Day for South-South Cooperation

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation - Pathways toward the SDGs through South-South solidarity beyond COVID-19

September 10, 2020

As prepared for delivery.


Dear Excellencies,


This event offers us an opportunity to highlight the inherent power of South-South and triangular cooperation to help countries respond decisively to global challenges like COVID-19 -- and to advance sustainable development.

The Added Value of South-South/Triangular cooperation demonstrated during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In particular, we are seeing the clear added value of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation in serving as a springboard to drive forward this crucial collaboration.

To take just one example -- over $5 million is now being fast-tracked from the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation  to support developing countries’ collective efforts to respond to the pandemic -- this is made possible thanks to strong support by Member States including China and India and other partners such as the Islamic Development Bank.

At the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) we are proud to be currently working with the support of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund on a total of 27 projects across the Global South.  One project has fully rehabilitated Barbuda’s only hospital following the devastating Hurricane Irma --  it is now equipped to support the community’s needs during the pandemic.   Moreover, it is a clear example of the UN’s “Build Forward Better” principles – as the hospital now has greater structural resilience and more inclusive access.

It is also clear that for developing countries with much larger populations and fewer resources -- there is increased impetus to advance innovative approaches.

In this respect, UNDP is working closely with the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation on an inventive project in Viet Nam that leverages an e-learning platform to provide vital COVID-19 training courses for healthcare workers posted in remote locations.

Or look to the fact that over 280,000 protective masks (as well as protective gowns and ventilators) -- have been mobilized and donated by UNOSSC and partners -- in part thanks to its groundbreaking "South-South Galaxy" knowledge sharing platform, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence.


In closing, UNDP is very proud to host the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation as the system-wide focal point on South-South cooperation.

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates how South-South and triangular cooperation is more important than ever to quickly mobilize critical assistance; to share solutions to respond to the socio-economic crisis and to find ways to help countries build back better from the pandemic – while accelerating progress on the SDGs.

Finally, in light of his upcoming retirement, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jorge Chediek for his leadership, vision and dedication. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.