President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria remains firmly committed to building value-driven partnerships with countries of the South.
The president stated this at a sideline event on Strengthening South-South Cooperation in the framework of the post-2015 Development Agenda at the ongoing 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
According to him, Nigeria values, and has supported South-South cooperation and will continue to do so, noting that it is the embodiment of the principles of solidarity and unity that define the common goals and aspirations of developing countries.
“It provides an important platform for developing countries to engage in mutually beneficial economic and technological cooperation.’’
The president, however, noted that the global political and economic reality suggested urgency for greater collaboration among the global South.
“Therefore, in strengthening South-South Partnerships to become the effective mechanism of change we envisage, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides the unique platform to find the adaptable development solutions among developing countries.
“The changing patterns of global development, driven largely by the remarkable turn-around of the leading economies of the South, underscore the importance of the South in shaping the world economic order.
“Countries of the South must increase their collaborative processes to share knowledge and understand the lessons from the socio-economic performance of key Southern economies,’’ he said.
According to president Buhari, building strong partnerships require the political will and a conscious approach to the exchange of human, scientific and technical knowledge between developing countries.
“We must be innovative in strengthening South-South trade, promote the transfer of environmentally-sound technologies, and enhance the implementation of effective capacity-development mechanisms.’’
He stressed that the global South must not be complacent regarding the promotion of a universal, rules-based, open and equitable multilateral trading system, including through the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda.
“As we seek to strengthen South-South cooperation we must not lose sight of the continued relevance of North-South cooperation.
“It should be noted that official development assistance must supplement greater flexibility and improvement in the terms of trade enjoyed by Southern economies.
“This will be a vital tool in the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda.
“However, we would like to see this executed in a manner that does not create a dependency syndrome,’’ he added.
President Buhari expressed the hope that a strengthened global South would enhance global macro-economic and political stability if greater policy cohesion and coordination was embraced by all.
He said that it would also open up the space for public-private partnerships and greater in-roads for the private sector.
“With the renewal of our common commitment, we can harness and leverage Southern partnerships for consolidation and growth.’’
He expressed optimism that “the South-South Cooperation will serve as an important building block for the collective development and strengthens the means of implementing the new Sustainable Development Agenda.’’
“We must also remember that profiles of Southern economies are fundamentally different from Northern industrial economies.
“Our focus, therefore, should be on quality technological education for development.
“In addition, employment for our teeming youths should, above all, be addressed to ensure social peace and general well-being of our countries,’’ he concluded.(NAN)