STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MAHMOUD MOHAMED MOHAMED EL ASHMAWY, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION OF THE DECISION ON THE THEME AND SUB-THEMES OF THE SECOND HIGH-LEVEL UN CONFERENCE ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION (New York, 12 April 2018)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset please allow me to express my appreciation on behalf of the Group to you for convening the current meeting to adopt the decision on the themes and subthemes of the Second High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Argentina in March 20-22, 2019.
2. In this regard, we welcome the overarching theme of the "Role of South-South cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, challenges and opportunities" upon the recommendation of the Secretary General.
3. South-South cooperation is a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the internationally-agreed development goals.
4. Furthermore, as laid out in the Nairobi Outcome document, South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South, and should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
5. South-South cooperation offers opportunities to strengthen international cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, let me be clear, in reiterating, that South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South Cooperation.
6. The Group of 77 and China would also like to seize this opportunity to reiterate the Member states' request through UNGA resolution 72/237 for the Joint Inspection Unit to present, by the end of the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, a progress report on its recommendations to the United Nations development system on implementing measures to further strengthen the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
7. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to the Permanent Representative of Uganda for his leadership role as the President of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation as well as the other members of the Bureau.
8. Let me also commend the continued commitment of Argentina in strengthening South-South cooperation. Forty years ago, it hosted the first UN Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, next year it will organize the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation. We have high expectations that the upcoming Conference will step up South-South cooperation on the basis of the Buenos Aires Program of Action (BAPA) and the Nairobi outcome document of the First High Level Conference on South-South Cooperation.