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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement

Mr. Eduardo Martin R. Menez
Philippine Mission to the United Nations

At the Sixteenth Session of the High-Level Committee on
South-South Cooperation

4 February 2010
UN Headquarters
New York

Mr. President,

Thank you, your Excellency, for giving the floor to the Philippines.

On behalf of my delegation, I would like to extend to you my warmest congratulations on your election as the President of the sixteenth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. Your election is an unqualified expression of the trust and confidence of the Member States of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation on your competence, integrity and leadership. I express the same sentiments to the other members of your bureau on their election to this important UN body. My delegation assures you Mr. President and your bureau of its support and cooperation to ensure the achievement of the goals the sixteenth session of the HLC on South-South Cooperation has defined and solemnly burdened itself to accomplish.

My delegation likewise takes this opportunity to commend H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the Permanent Representative of Qatar, for his outstanding leadership and stewardship of the fifteenth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation.

For the record, the Philippines associates itself with the statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Abdullah M. Alsaidi, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. However, it wishes to underscore some points.

Mr. President,

The Philippine delegation actively participated both in the preparatory process here in New York, and in the conference itself in Nairobi from 1 to 2 December 2009 on the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, an event which marked the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the 1978 UN Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries that produced the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

The Nairobi outcome document of the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, adopted by consensus by the General Assembly in early December last year, recognizes the growing role of South-South cooperation as demonstrated by the increasing economic dynamism of some developing countries in recent years, including through, inter alia, regional integration initiatives across the developing world, the creation of regional common markets, custom unions, cooperation in political fields, institutional and regulatory frameworks, and inter-State transport and communications networks. The Philippines itself provides modest South-South cooperation especially for the Least Developed Countries through the Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines which is in charge of formulating and implementing a National Technical Cooperation Program.

Notwithstanding these solid gains, many developing countries continue to face serious obstacles and challenges in implementing their respective development plans and programs so that many of them are not on track to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These formidable obstacles and challenges facing many developing countries are imposed by external factors and they urgently need the support and cooperation of the international community. I need not cite these external factors. All of us know them.

Mr. President,

The Nairobi outcome document contains important elements for development featuring international cooperation and offering viable opportunities for developing countries in their individual and collective pursuit of sustained economic growth and sustainable development. However, the aims and objectives defined in this outcome document should be time bound, such as the UN agreement regarding Millennium Development Goals. It should also establish a mechanism to guarantee accountability and transparency, as well as draw lessons learned on South-South Cooperation and North-South Cooperation with the caveat that South-South cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation. There is a need for increased triangular cooperation as a modality in achieving the goals defined in this document. In this regard, the Philippines advocates for the enhancement of institutional and policy mechanisms, such as the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.

Mr. President,

The Philippines underscores the need to reinvigorate the United Nations development system in supporting and promoting South-South cooperation. Accordingly, it urges the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies to take concrete measures to mainstream support for South-South and triangular cooperation to help developing countries in capacity-building and enable them to achieve their national development goals as well as internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.

Let me conclude, Mr. President, by commending the UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, led by its Director, Mr. Yiping Zhou, and his team, for vigorously promoting and facilitating South-South and triangular cooperation for development on a global and UN system-wide basis; and by reiterating the commitment of the Philippines to fully support your stewardship for the success of the this sixteenth session.

Thank you.


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