Secretary General's message on the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

15 Dec 2010

On the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, we highlight the rich contribution of developing countries to our collective progress, and encourage collaboration among them in achieving further advances against hunger, poverty and other global ills.

In the decade since the Millennium Development Goals were first articulated, many countries have made significant progress in raising school enrolment, reducing child mortality, improving access to clean water and boosting their response to malaria, AIDS and other diseases.

Yet 1.75 billion people in 104 countries remain unable to meet some of their basic needs, according to the Multidimensional Poverty Index launched earlier this year by the United Nations Development Programme.

The number of undernourished people in the world remains unacceptably high, at close to 1 billion – including more than one in four children under the age of five in the developing world.

The impacts of climate change, humanitarian crises and armed conflicts only exacerbate the plight of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

South-South cooperation is a vital component of the world’s response.

Developing countries that pool know-how, exchange ideas and coordinate plans can attain much greater gains than they ever would on their own.

The recent Global South-South Development Expo in Geneva showed the dynamism and synergies that such cooperation can engender, in particular on decent work, food security, climate change, health and education.

On this United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, let us resolve to expand our networks of solidarity as the MDG target date of 2015 approaches, and as we work on the even longer horizon of building a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world for all.