Press Releases

    16 December 2005

    Developing Countries Should Involve Skills of "Global Diasporas" in Development Process, Says Secretary-General in Message on Day for South-South Cooperation

    NEW YORK, 15 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message on United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, observed 19 December:

    The theme for this year's United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, "Celebrating the Global South:  Diversity and Creativity" is aiming to draw attention to the range and depth of talent in the developing world.

    In an era of globalization, countries have to forge new partnerships to meet the challenges ahead.  Already, developing countries are pooling their human and material resources and working collectively for a more just, equitable and democratic world.  To ensure the success of such efforts, they must utilize every resource at their disposal.  In particular, they should seek to involve their global diasporas in the development process.  These individuals, many of whom have studied, worked and prospered in the North, should be encouraged to offer their knowledge and skills to their countries of origin.

    Poverty in the South results in large part from underutilization and misallocation of resources, not from any deficit of creativity or potential.  Through sharing ideas, knowledge and skills, developing countries can address these weaknesses and build on their strengths.  They can promote economic growth, stimulate job creation and advance their shared development agenda.

    Twenty-seven years after the Buenos Aires Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries gave voice to the need for South-South cooperation, the potential of such partnerships remains unfulfilled.  Yet, recent developments provide increased cause for optimism.

    At this year's World Summit at the United Nations, world leaders expressed strong support for South-South cooperation.  Separately, developing countries have launched the South Fund for Development and Humanitarian Assistance and established the Asian-African Strategic Partnership.  In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa's Development continued its work on good governance and economic development.  And an especially encouraging trend has been the growth in intra-South aid and investment.

    These developments highlight a growing consensus around coordinated action.  On this Day for South-South Cooperation, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better future for the South, and for all humanity.

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