Viewpoint by P.I. Gomes*
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (IDN) – The annual observance of UN Day for South-South Cooperation on September 12 was anticipated by a Virtual High-Level Event hosted by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSCC) on September 10, 2020.
The event, chaired by UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation and Director, UNOSCC, Mr. Jorge Chediek, was a further milestone of achievements by UNOSSC as it marked the launch of the Volume 3 publication on Good Practices in South-South & Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development. This Volume contains 200 good practices from 35 member states, 23 UN entities and other developing partners.
At the event, participants of a global audience were able to share virtually, the testimony of a widespread and growing commitment and the positive outcomes by UN member states, specialised agencies, multilateral organisations and development partners in a range of practices of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SS & TrC). These were telling examples that offered effective measures to contain and overcome the devastating consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.
The examples of shared practices, equipment, personnel and especially creative measures to design and utilise protective measures against the pandemic, were especially relevant in aiming to assist the people of the Global South, bearing the brunt of poverty and inequality in the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
As I followed the event from Trinidad & Tobago, it was moving to learn of and hear the many tributes and commendation paid to UNOSSC Director Jorge Chediek, who will be imminently retiring after a most distinguished and exemplary career in the UN system. I am pleased to associate myself with the highly deserving praise and accomplishments attributed to Jorge Chediek.
Personally, I am particularly grateful and honoured that in 2016, a formal MOU was entered into between the UNOSSC and the African, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Group of States with Mr Chediek being in Brussels for the signing ceremony.
Even more telling was the launch of the first joint publication by the ACP Group of States and UNOSSC on South-South & Triangular Cooperation in Action, which took place at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA +40) in Buenos Aires in March 2019.
The dynamism and great visionary leadership of Jorge Chediek has been a source of inspiration to the work of the EDF Intra-ACP Programming by the ACP Group of States and will certainly continue to be in the years ahead.
As I convey my deepest gratitude for the cooperation and joint activities with the UNOSSC, let me wish Jorge a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement of many years as he so wishes to spend them.
May his legacy for SS & TrC be of lasting benefits to all countries of the Global South. [IDN-InDepthNews – 13 September 2020]
*The writer, Dr Patrick I Gomes, was Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States for five years until February 29, 2020. The 79-nation inter-regional body officially became the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on April 5, 2020. Dr Gomes was previously Ambassador of the Republic of Guyana, to the EU in Brussels.
Photo: Signing ceremony for exchange of letters between UNOSSC and ACP Secretariat.
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