The global southern countries have contributed more than half of the entire global growth in recent years, with such note and marking 10 years of existence this year’s UN’s GSSD Expo 2018 successfully conducted in UN Headquarters. Documented best practices from the Member States, the United Nations system, private-sector enterprises and civil society organizations the GSSD Expo 2018 provided a powerful platform for all development actors and stakeholders which showcased Southern development solutions and celebrated South-South and triangular cooperation successes. The three-day event highlighted knowledge and lessons sharing activities and explored new avenues for collaboration, and initiates new partnership efforts.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the developing countries’ contribution to the global growth as the UN prepares for a major conference on South-South cooperation.
The UN chief also noted intra-South trade accounts for more than one-quarter of all world trade, and that foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows from the South represent one-third of global FDI flows.
Remittances from migrant workers to low- and middle-income countries reached 466 billion U.S. dollars last year, helping to lift millions of families out of poverty, he said.
“Innovative forms of Southern-led knowledge sharing, technology transfer, emergency response and livelihood recovery are transforming lives,” he said, adding that “new financial institutions have helped generate infrastructure and sustainable development projects around the world.”
At the same time, the secretary-general noted development gains have been uneven and incomplete, citing over 700 million people still unable to meet basic needs.
On the sidelines of GSSD Expo 2018, Mr. E.J.Eradiri, Secretary General, All Africa Association for SMEs spoke to SMEStreet and highlighted the relevance of UN’s South-South Cooperation Program for the African region by saying, “The UN South-South Cooperation program has great relevance for the African region. While representing a trade body of African SMEs, I personally felt great which knowing about the South-South Cooperation program of UN. Activities such as GSSD Expo have given a great opportunity for the world leaders to come forward and discuss what each one of us can bring in the overall solutions of the world problems. African region has many issues and each one of such issue needed proper attention of world leaders. I was excited to be part of this forum as it has not just let me understand the developments here, but it also ensured that concerned stakeholders and world leaders have understood the contemporary issues faced by African SMEs.”
The GSSD Expo strategically engages all development actors, including the private sector, civil society, academic and philanthropic organizations, to scale up concrete Southern-grown initiatives to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
To address the problem, Guterres said the expo is about “harnessing the power and potential of the South for the common good” and “sharing homegrown Southern solutions for sustainable development.”
Organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) in collaboration with UN agencies and other partners, the annual three-day expo which is being held at UN Headquarters runs.
About 50 institutional partners representing UN member states, private sectors and regional organizations and about 800 delegates from over 120 member states have attended the expo.
The expo was a step in the run-up to the Second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Argentina in March 2019.