Convening on 11 May, the Organizational Meeting of the twentieth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation elected the Bureau for its 20th session and adopted its agenda.
The 20th session of the High-level Committee on South-South cooperation (HLC) will take place on 1-4 June, 2021, in New York. The thematic discussion of the twentieth session, decided by the Bureau of the High-level Committee, will be focused on “Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through effective implementation of the BAPA+40 outcome document while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and similar global crises”.
During the Organizational Meeting, the Committee elected Her Excellency Ambassador María del Carmen Squeff, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations, from the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group, as President. The Committee also elected three Vice-Presidents, Her Excellency Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, from the Group of Asia-Pacific States; Ms. Dalia Šalkauskienė of the Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations, from the Group of Eastern European States; and Mr. Afonso Lages of the Mission of Portugal to the United Nations, from the Group of Western European and other States. Mr. Hashimu Gusau Abubakar of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, from the Group of African States, was elected as rapporteur of the High-level Committee.
On behalf of the Administrator, the Associate Administrator, Ms. Usha Rao-Monari, made a statement highlighting that the outcome of the negotiations and decisions of this High-level Committee session will provide important policy guidance on how to implement BAPA+40 outcome document in support to South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development, which will serve to advance further the United Nation’s support to the promotion of South-South and triangular cooperation around the world.
The organizational meeting was informed that two reports will guide the deliberations of the High-level Committee – the Report of the Secretary-General and the Report of UNDP Administrator. The agenda of the twentieth session and organization of work was approved, as contained in documents SSC/20/L.2 and SSC/20/L.3 and addenda.
The Director a.i. of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Mr. Adel Abdellatif, made a statement. Statements were also made by the representatives of Uganda, H.E. Mr. Philip Ochen Andrew Odida; and South Africa, H.E. Mr. Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo. The Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Partnership of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Mr. Tarik Iziraren, responded to points raised by delegations.
The twentieth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (SSC) is taking place after 2016, the first one since the 2019 Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South cooperation in Buenos Aires. It is also significant in light of the central role of South-South and triangular cooperation during the response and recovery phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This High-level Committee is also important given that the United Nations System-wide Strategy on South-South and Triangular cooperation for sustainable development, endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Secretary-General in August 2020, and its Action Plan, will be shared with the HLC, for information.