This year’s observance of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation comes amid intensifying international efforts to accelerate progress on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015, the internationally agreed deadline. Concurrently, the South has assumed a greater role in the global development landscape. In many developing countries incomes are up, poverty is declining and hope is rising. The goal of reducing extreme poverty by half has been achieved. Equity in primary education -- attendance by girls and boys -- has been reached. Infant mortality has seen tremendous decreases, with five of nine developing regions reducing the under-five mortality rate by half. More than 2 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water. These and other economic achievements of the global South have given rise to a rapidly expanding middle class adding a strong voice to demands for more liberties, equity, decent jobs and a wide range of goods and services that are critical to genuine human progress.
Despite these positive trends, 1.2 billion people are still trapped in conditions of extreme poverty. Wide-ranging global discussions are under way to define a Post-2015 development agenda that will galvanize development efforts at all levels in the years and decades ahead. As that agenda takes shape, the international community is already united around the idea that South-South cooperation should remain an integral part of the global partnership for development.
Developing countries are turning to each other for lessons on innovative policies and schemes to address pressing development challenges. The Brazilian Bolsa Familia Programme, a cash transfer model, has helped improve childhood nutrition and education in
Delivered by Ms. Rebecca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme