Statement delivered by Hon. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20 March 2019
Excellencies, Heads of State/Government and ministers
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honour and privilege to participate in the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, which is witness of the important and historic Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) adopted here 40 years ago. The BAPA Conference in 1978 not only set a bedrock for cooperation among developing countries but also became a synonymous with South-South Cooperation itself.
I would like to join the speakers before me in thanking and appreciating the generosity of the Government of Argentina for hosting as well as for making excellent arrangements for the Conference. We also appreciate the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation for substantive as well as other preparations.
I also take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. President, and other officers on your appointment to lead this important Conference. I would also like to assure you of our full support in discharging your important responsibilities.
I align my statement with the statement of the Group of 77 and China delivered by the State of Palestine.
South-South Cooperation is more relevant now than ever before.
The development landscape has changed significantly. The South has developed an enormous potential for economic transformation. The progress some members of the South have achieved over the decades has not only widened the scope of the cooperation, but has brought us closer towards realizing the purpose of ‘collective self-reliance’. While sharing of experiences and best practices between and among the countries of the South will go a long way, the cooperation needs a more concrete and meaningful form.
This is time to further diversify and strengthen our cooperation: in scale, in scope, in quality and in its effectiveness.
South-South Cooperation, as complementary to and not as a substitute for the North-South Cooperation, plays an important role for the effective and timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development outcomes such as IPOA and VPOA.
Let me highlight what cooperation means to a landlocked LDC like Nepal that has just begun an economic transformation to sustain its successful political gains that culminated in the democratic Constitution in 2015. To realize the ambition of the Constitution, the Government has already initiated transformative process in a holistic approach with a resolve of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. 41 percent women representations in the federal, provincial and local elected bodies, introduction of Comprehensive Social Security Program, Nationwide Health Insurance Program and Prime Minister Employment Program among others, are the instruments to achieve prosperity and happiness. We have internalized the SDGs in our national policies and planning. We wish to graduate from LDC stage at earliest and to become middle income country by 2030. There is need of enhanced level of investment to accelerate the economic growth which demands scaled up international cooperation.
We know that those who have a long journey to travel should walk fast. And we are prepared to walk fast and catch up with fast growing economy.
But we are not alone in this journey. We are confident that international cooperation and partnership, including South-South cooperation, are important components in realizing our national development goals and objectives.
Lastly, allow me now to highlight four important principles for my country:
- First, some members in the South despite being similar development ambitions are far lagging behind. They need even more understanding, partnership and cooperation. Principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ should be placed at the core.
- Second, our cooperation should have a focus, a clear focus on poverty eradication. SDG 1 is the biggest battle we have and perhaps the most cross-cutting, and therefore a sine qua non for making the world a better place to live.
- Third, gender equality, inclusiveness, concrete steps to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change and the social justice, among others, should be the guide posts of development perspectives. Women and youths should be assured for better opportunities and more investment must be guaranteed in education and technological innovations.
- Finally, our development experience tells that all forms of cooperation should respect national ownership and leadership, and focus on country needs and priorities. And global peace and stability is the prerequisite, because cost of conflicts mainly goes on the shoulder of Global South.
To conclude, Mr. President, I reiterate Nepal’s call for meeting commitments, forging partnerships, increasing cooperation and redoubling our efforts, including through the South-South Cooperation, to support the countries that need the most. Nepal is ready to work together with all fellow member states and all stakeholders to this important end.
I thank you.