UN to open high-level meeting to boost South-South cooperation

08:32, November 25, 2009      

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The United Nations is to open the most important UN meeting on South-South cooperation in decades as countries from the South assume leading roles in decisions on hot global issues ranging from economic recovery to food security and climate change, the world body announced Tuesday.

The meeting, called the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, is scheduled for Dec. 1-3 in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, UN officials said here.

The conference is expected to highlight growing political and economic ties within the developing world and seek to promote and sharpen the benefits of mutual support among developing and transition economies, the officials said.

The upcoming meeting is also expected to maintain support for the process from the developing world through "triangular" cooperation. Negotiations of an outcome document continued this week at the UN headquarters in New York, the officials said.

Participating in the high-level meeting is expected at head of states and ministerial levels. UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and UN Development Program Administrator Helen Clark are among the senior officials who will attend, the officials said.

The UN General Assembly decided, by adopting a resolution on Oct. 6, 2009, that the conference is to be held "at the highest possible level." It will have the overarching theme of "Promotion of South-South Cooperation for Development" and will consist of plenary meetings and interactive multi-sector stakeholder round tables on two sub-themes -- strengthening of the role of the United Nations system in supporting South-South and triangular cooperation, South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Development: complementarities, specificities, challenges and opportunities.

The conference is the outcome of a United Nations decision to convene such a conference on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among developing countries (TCDC).

All states of the United Nations system, as well as intergovernmental organizations with observer status with the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations specialized agencies and other entities of the United Nations system, have been invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to participate in the conference. Also invited are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and public and private sector development partners of the United Nations.

South-South merchandise trade has grown by an average of 13.4 percent per year since 1995, reaching 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars, or 20 percent of world trade, by 2007. Exports from emerging market and developing countries have grown to about 40 percent of the overall world total.

Source: Xinhua
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