United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
10 September 2020
Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
Your Excellency Tijjani Mohammed Bande, President of the 74th session of the General Assembly,
Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
The initiative of the UN Office of the South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to organize this Meeting is much appreciated. Sri Lanka aligns with the Statement delivered by the Chair of the Group of 77 & China.
As we commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of the adoption of the BAPA this year, the world is regrettably facing unimaginable devastation and suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has mutated from health to economic, humanitarian, and social crises.
Our hard-won development goals are well under threat of reversal due to the pandemic, thereby exacerbating the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the South. Global inequalities in the areas of the digital divide, trade and gaps in the access to education and health care facilities, and increasing vulnerability to external shocks have now been exposed with the onset of the pandemic. In this context, it is pivotal to explore partnerships to overcome these challenges through, technological transfer, technical assistance, negotiations on equal status, and sharing of lessons learnt, expertise and skills. While South-South Cooperation can make an important contribution initially to this end, it would need to be complemented by North-South Cooperation in order to derive the best.
As we have reached the Decade of Action, the world warrants urgent action by stakeholders at all levels to mitigate the health, economic and social consequences arising from the pandemic, and formulate strategies to move ahead. Time and again, South-South Cooperation has offered notable solutions to our shared development challenges. As such, it has a crucial role to play in the current context, driven by the spirit of solidarity of the South.
However, it is important to underline that, South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for Official Development Assistance, or replace the need for responsibilities of the global North, which are crucial for financing for development. Triangular cooperation also adds value to South-South cooperation by enabling developing countries to widen the source and access more resources, expertise and capacities.