Cooperation among developing nations vital to tackling current crises – D’Escoto

16 December 2008

Current global crises, ranging from food to fuel and finance, offer an opportunity to increase solidarity among developing countries, the President of the General Assembly said today, stressing the potential benefits of South-South cooperation for dealing with a range of issues.

“South-South cooperation is a win-win situation for all nations,” Miguel D’Escoto told a meeting held on the occasion of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation, which is observed on 19 December. “It is not a mere add-on in our development efforts.

“It must be seen as a fundamental investment in regional integration in a fragmented world. It must been seen as a driving force in our national security and independence. It must be seen as a crucial buffer between our fragile economies and the deeply flawed global trading system,” he stated.

Mr. D’Escoto stressed that it is important not to under-estimate the potential of South-South cooperation, which he said is flourishing as never before. “This cooperation is vital to finding solutions to the food and energy shortages and climate change that are reversing development gains and creating humanitarian emergencies.”

Also to mark the Day, the UN today launched an online marketplace for cooperation projects, where civil society groups from developing countries can list their initiatives, and if accepted, can be supported by social investors.

The South-South Human Development Stock Exchange was developed by the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in support of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the global anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.

Projects seeking funding should aim to advance the MDGs through cooperation between at least two countries of the global South, be peer-reviewed, and enhance human development in a cost effective way, according to a news release issued by UNDP.

Project manager Francisco Simplicio, who is Chief of the Special Unit’s Division of Knowledge Management, said that the Exchange is an example of “walking the talk” and seeks to promote the concept of social stock exchanges – launched in Brazil in 2003 – as well as knowledge-sharing among countries of the South.

According to the Special Unit, social stock exchanges are now a trend and similar initiatives are being launched in many countries such as South Africa, which opened a social stock exchange in 2006, England and Germany, which are planning to launch theirs next year, and India, New Zealand, Portugal, Thailand and Brazil, which have projects in the works.

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