With the turn of the year, the International Community is yet again celebrating today the UN Day for South-South Cooperation during an unprecedented and exceptional situation created by COVID-19 Pandemic drastically impacting human lives and national economies of the world. The world witnessed more than 28 Million infec-tions, 900,000 deaths and Billions of Dollars in expenses to combat the Pandemic, which is continuously still on the rise unabated. The most advanced health systems are grappling with the Pandemic for saving lives, most powerful economies foresee-ing imminent recession and thousands of Small and Medium Enterprises on the brink of collapse resulting in millions of people losing their livelihoods.
Universally, the severest calamity also brings opportunities of the same scale and magnitude. Unlike previous Pandemics frightening the mankind to embrace deaths without fighting back, the ongoing Pandemic made nations more cautious, innova-tive and resilient in rigorously fighting against natural calamity. It has inculcated the spirit for more cooperation, solidarity and friendship among nations to collectively combat this unprecedented, unpredictable and most dangerous enemy. It also has impelled mankind to join their efforts, share their experiences, knowledge and expertise to face the most challenging global health epidemic of the human recent history. Global solidarity and South-South and Triangular Cooperati on have proven once again to be the best solution both for developed and developing nations from the North and the South to withstand the calamity and press ahead collectively towards better health and wellbeing peace and prosperity of all nations.
Partners in Population and Development (PPD), the Intergovernmental Organization of 27 Member states, is proud of celebrating the 2020 UN Day for South-South Cooperation in these difficult times since the organization was created in 1994 during the ICPD to institutionalize and promote South-South Cooperation (SSC) as a paradigm shift to the development cooperation and has been enjoying exceeding-ly increasing commitments of the Member States to its founding principles and mandates. Over the last 26 years since its inception, PPD practically experienced that investing in promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation in reproductive health, family planning and population issues generates lifetime of returns to the families, communities and nations. Sharing of knowledge, experiences, expertise and best practices along with technical assistance among PPD member states including other developing countries in fighting the COVID-19 brought tangible results in reducing the spread and intensity of the virus and avoiding preventable deaths. China, the Chair of PPD Board, created the best example of solidarity and support to the Southern countries by sharing its experience in fighting the COVID-19 concurrently providing reproductive health and family planning services including treatment of pregnant women, supplying the protective gears and sending medical teams to many developing countries.
At the forthcoming 25th Board Meeting of PPD to be held virtually before the end of this year, Ministers and High-Level Government Officials from PPD Member States will share their successful strategies, experiences and lessons learned in fighting the virus while fulfilling the commitments they have made in Nairobi to accelerate the ICPD Agenda and achieve three zeros by 2030.
On this memorable day, the Secretariat of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is expressing its sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the Honorable Board Members, Partner Country Coordinators, International Partners namely UNFPA, UNOSSC and Chinese SSCAF and all stakeholders for their continued support and strong commitment to promote South-South Cooperation for the benefit of men, women and children of the Global South.
Adnene Ben Haj Aissa