Ban Ki-moon urges cooperation among developing countries to eradicate poverty

Ban Ki-moon urges cooperation among developing countries to eradicate poverty

While a partnership between developed and developing countries is important, cooperation among developing countries themselves is central to global efforts to eradicate poverty, stimulate economic growth and promote sustainable development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Such cooperation “is a vital means of attracting trade and investment flows and achieving sustainable debt financing,” he said in a message marking the UN Day for South-South Cooperation, observed annually on 19 December.

“It can also serve to promote increased international financial and technical cooperation for development. In addition, South-South cooperation helps developing countries learn how best to apply successful policies and practices in a context that reflects their national priorities,” he added.

Noting that development successes remained uneven across the South, he said much more must be done to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to drastically slash poverty, hunger and maternal and child mortality, and boost access to health care and education, all by 2015.

“Nearly 1 billion people remain in extreme poverty,” Mr. Ban stressed. “All regions are off track to reach the target for reducing child mortality, and one third of all children in developing countries lack access to improved sanitation.

“In the face of this stark reality, the international community must reinvigorate efforts to meet its commitments. Countries of the South must use their growing surpluses to reach development goals, including by funding public goods, creating and distributing vaccines, supporting agricultural research and development, establishing social insurance systems, enhancing access to credit for the poor, and improving transportation and communications structures.”

At the same time, he said the world must stay focused on the effects of climate change, which threaten to undermine much of the progress that has been achieved so far. In addition, resources mobilized for development must be used effectively.

UN agencies, funds and programmes must better coordinate their activities, particularly in the area of South-South cooperation, to address development challenges that are beyond the capacity of any one country to tackle alone.

“I am committed to strengthening and streamlining United Nations support for South-South cooperation,” he concluded. “As we mark this International Day, let us all pledge our best efforts to enable the countries of the South to free their citizens from want.”