Last updated: 3rd April 2019
Intervention by Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP at the 2nd Interactive panel discussion at the BAPA+40 Conference on “Challenges and the strengthening of the institutional framework of South‐South cooperation and triangular cooperation” Room D 21st March 2019 Buenos Aires Convention Centre
Thank you, Chair.
I thank all the panelists for their very substantive presentations.
Our experience says that although 40 years after the BAPA Conference have passed, we have not been able to strengthen the institutional framework for SSC. At least the current framework is not being able to address the challenges facing the SSC and support its ever-growing demand. I would share a few thoughts on it:
- First, BAPA is still very relevant for us and regrettably, it is yet to be realized fully. All intergovernmental processes must include SSC in their discussions.There are some areas where South-South Cooperation is more preferred like climate change, bio-diversity, global health, digital divide, armed conflicts, poverty alleviation etc.
- Second, UN system should be in a better position to do the job of implementing BAPA. The offices which support SSC such as UNOSSC must be strengthened.
- Third, all relevant UN entities will have to integrate SSC and TC fully in to their programmes. They should support SSC in their respective areas of competence. Each such office should have an SSC focal point to liaise among them and with relevant government or private sector to facilitate SSC. About an institutional example, WIPO’s patent match-making may be a good example where countries of the South may find patented technology at a favourable condition.
- Fourth, UNDS has now been repositioned. At the country level, when the UNDAF is prepared, SSC needs to be included as a priority area. An SSC focal point must be identified in the RC’s Office so that he or she can coordinate with relevant offices at the country level to implement initiatives undertaken at the SSC framework.
- Fifth, considering the importance of institutional framework for advancing SSC and TC, Bangladesh is about to set up a South-South Centre on Knowledge and Innovation which will leverage the existing systems, resources and expertise in the area of knowledge and innovation particularly in the wake of 4IR.
- Sixth, political will is essential for fostering the spirit of SSC. Hence, I propose that we form a Forum of relevant Ministers such as Finance/ Foreign/ Development Ministers of the South. Time is running out and therefore we should set it up quickly.