Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development Launch Ceremony Speech
29 April 2016
By Mr. Alain Noudéhou, UN Resident Coordinator
Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy China International Trade Representative
Mr. Zhu Shanlu, CPC Committee Secretary of Peking University,
His Excellency Mr. Victor Sikonina, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China & Ambassador of the Republic of Madagascar to China,
Mr. Justin Lin, Dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development,
Dear colleagues from UNCT,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to all of you!
On behalf of the United Nations Country Team in China, it is with great pleasure that I join you at the Launch Ceremony of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD) today.
Last September world leaders jointly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 70th General Assembly of United Nations. During the summit, China made significant commitments regarding its contribution to global sustainable development. Among them, the proposal to set up a center on international development for sharing knowledge and experience was much welcomed, and we are pleased to see it coming to fruition here today.
The establishment of the Institute comes at a critical time. This year is the first year for implementing the 2030 Agenda. An agenda through which the world has pledged to end poverty, achieve shared prosperity and peace, and protect our planet. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are included in the Agenda aim to address multi-faceted and interconnected development challenges that often cut across national borders. To realize this ambitious vision, the world would need to muster relevant resources and put in applicable, well-crafted strategies that will effectively generate growth and share prosperity while leaving no-one behind. South-South cooperation and learning across communities should be an integral part of the solution that we seek to make this happen. We commend China’s leadership not only in prioritizing South-South cooperation but also in establishing this institute to further advance this approach.
This concrete follow-up to the commitment made by China in New York last year is a manifestation that the government is true in words and resolute in deeds as a saying in China goes. As indicated in its objectives, I am hopeful that the ISSCAD will indeed produce effective and innovative solutions for development in the near future through accelerating information exchanges, cultivating high-level talent and building capacity.
Please allow me at this stage to make two suggestions for consideration as we seek to improve the impact of South-South cooperation:
First, it is critical to address gaps in institutional capacities in partner countries so as to strengthen their abilities to implement tailor-made south-south solutions. South-South cooperation should go beyond what is usually expected, i.e. providing goods, equipment and technologies from a country to another. It is even more important to ensure that recipient countries can put them into proper use. For instance, a country may be able to get new solar technology or wind technology, but if the institutional set-up in that country is not properly aligned with the technologies they receive, then this would not be an effective intervention. That’s why it is important to have a center like ISSCAD to help build the capacity that is also required to make sure that countries are able to align their policy and institutional set-up to better absorb any technology exchanges as a result of South-South cooperation.
Second, all South-South cooperation initiatives should be on demand driven basis, and the services or goods provided should address specific weaknesses or bottlenecks that have been identified in the receiving country. If a certain country is engaged in a South-South cooperation, the partnership in that particular country will be much more impactful and successful if the cooperation, whether it’s policy advice or technology, responds to particular bottlenecks that have been identified. South-South cooperation that is only based on goodwill may not be that helpful.
Several UN Agencies in China, as you probably know, are already engaged in supporting South-South cooperation. Going forward, the entire UN Development System stands ready to continue to support China’s leadership in this area.
With our extensive network and presence in most countries in the south, we are able to help identify real bottlenecks and facilitate the required capacity building in them. Specifically, we can help to collect first-hand data, share international best-practices, facilitate peer-to-peer dialogues, support customized solutions and broker the required implementation partnerships among developing countries to facilitate successful implementation of South-South cooperation both from the actual developing aid perspective and also from the learning perspective.
I want to conclude and wish this event a great success, and thank you all for your attention.