Momen for establishing SSC ministerial forum to achieve SDGs


Dhaka, Mar 21: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has proposed establishing a forum of development, finance, economic and foreign ministers of the countries under South-South Cooperation (SSC) to discuss the critical issues of the South in the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).“Bangladesh is planning to set up a “South-South Knowledge and Innovation Centre” which would provide a platform to it and other countries to address the challenges they face in advancing technology transformation,” he said, BSS reported.

Momen said the centre will help the SSC countries to share their innovative practices and identify experiences which could be transferred, replicated and scaled up.

The Bangladesh foreign minister was presenting the country statement at the plenary meeting of the Second UN High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday, a press release said here today.

To strengthen and further invigorate South-South cooperation, the UN General Assembly is convening this high-level conference on SSC on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

The High-level Conference is being hosted by Argentina which commenced on 20 March and will continue till 22 March 2019.

Bangladesh has been elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Conference. The Bangladesh minister also chaired the high-level plenary meeting for a while.

Momen urged the member states of SSC to come forward for strengthening strategic partnership through the framework of South- South and Triangular Cooperation.

The Diaspora of the South, which possesses wealth of knowledge and experience, is expanding across the globe, the Bangladesh foreign minister stressed and added that the SSC should provide them a platform to work closely in their countries of origin and play a more meaningful role in their development.

Recognizing the SSC as an effective cooperation mechanism in the development trajectory of Bangladesh, the foreign minister said, “Under the leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we are now implementing our national development Vision 2021 to see ourselves as a middle-income country and Vision 2041 to transform the country into a ‘Sonar Bangla”, a developed one.”

Bangladesh is in the process of graduation from the LDC category and this transition would make the country faces a new set of development challenges as a middle-income country, he said.

“As we embark on that journey, we wish to harness the potential of SSC to address our huge development needs and challenges,” he said.

The Bangladesh foreign minister informed the audience that Bangladesh has included SSC in its National Policy for Development Cooperation such as in various programmes and platforms under the Access to Information (A2I).

Foreign Minister Momen thanked the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) for incorporating five innovative development solutions of Bangladesh which are Union Digital Centre, SDG Tracker, Empathy Training, Service Innovation Fund and Time Cost Visit Model of public service delivery in ‘the UN Global Publication on Best Practices’.

He referred to another UNOSSC’s publication named “South-South in Action: Citizen Friendly Public Service Innovation in Bangladesh” which tells Bangladesh’s success in ensuring good governance.

Prior to delivering the country statement, the minister attended a side event titled “A Glimpse of the future South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Asia-Pacific’s contribution to Science, Technology and Innovation” at University of Buenos Aires, jointly hosted by A2I and UNOSSC.

In the daylong engagements, the minister also met the President of General Assembly (PGA) Mar-a Fernanda Espinosa Garc,s, foreign minister of Georgia David Zalkaliani and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guatemala Jairo D.

Estrada B. In those bilateral meetings, he and his counterparts exchanged views and ideas and shared their respective country’s development endeavors.

The PGA praised Bangladesh’s generosity for providing shelter and humanitarian support to the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar.

She also lauded Bangladesh’s indomitable success in social and economic development and its proactive role in climate change negotiations.