Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe, began his two-year tenure as President of the United Nations High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (HLC-SSC) with today’s opening of 17th session of the HLC-SSC.
The HLC-SSC, the premier decision-making body on South-South Cooperation, is a biennial forum for UN member States, intergovernmental bodies, UN System members and accredited non-governmental bodies in South-South (cooperation between developing countries) and triangular cooperation (cooperation between developing and developed countries).
Today’s opening marks the start of four days of deliberations among UN member States on the reports of the UNDP Administrator on progress in south-south cooperation among member States, UN agencies and other development actors, and a report by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which sets forth a framework of operational guidelines on south-south cooperation called for by the 16th session of the Committee, which if accepted will become the practical guide for UN agencies on south-south and triangular cooperation for years to come.
“The meeting comes at a critical juncture for many countries of the global south,” said Ambassador Ashe. “Due to a confluence of unique economic factors, the countries that are experiencing the fastest economic growth are located in the south and not in the north – contrary to the usual expectations,” he said.
“And while there are many reasons for developing countries to rejoice, there are also many reasons for concern. These include many socio-economic challenges, including persistent poverty and growing inequality. We can therefore look to increased south-south cooperation to help our countries address these challenges,” he added
Ambassador Ashe also indicated that, as President, he will seek to identify ways by which the HLC-SSC can strengthen the role of vital stakeholders such as NGOs, civil society and private sector in assisting governments in the field of capacity-building, knowledge exchange and technology transfer.
The current session will conclude on Friday, May 24.