25 May 2012
Statement by H.E. Mr. Eshagh Alhabib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Seventeenth Session of High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation
(New York, 22-25 May 2012)
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
At the beginning, I would like to congratulate you for your election as the president of the seventeenth session of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation. I extend my felicitation to other members of the bureau as well for their well deserved election. I also take this opportunity to thank Director of the Special Unit and his staff in successfully fulfilling their mandates. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Algeria on behalf of the G77 and China.
Carefully negotiated Nairobi Outcome Document provides a valid basis for further strengthening of the South-South Cooperation and we, therefore, expect and call for its full implementation. The role of the UN and its bodies to this end can not be over-emphasized. Hence, we call the United Nations funds, programs and specialized agencies to take, as articulated in paragraph 21(a) of the Outcome, all necessary measures to mainstream in their respective activities support to South-South and triangular cooperation to help developing countries as required.
Accordingly, and in line with paragraph 21(i) of the Outcome, we ask for meaningful measures to be taken by the Secretary General for financially and institutionally strengthening of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to carry out its full responsibilities and mandates as the UN system-wide coordinator. Meanwhile, we expect all other United Nations bodies to also increase allocation of human, technical and financial resources for South-South cooperation as foreseen in the Outcome.
In this context, we take note of the recent relevant reports notably the JIU report A/66/717 and the Secretary General comments thereon as contained in A/66/717/Add.1 as well as the draft framework of operational guidelines on South-South Cooperation. It is expected that cooperation among South finds the place it deserves in the UN activities. This is however our conviction that scope and modalities of such cooperation is best to be defined by its main stakeholders i.e. countries of the South themselves. If there is any document beyond Nairobi that the UN needs to look at while operationalizing South-South cooperation it should be the annual Ministerial declaration of the Group of 77 and China. It clearly reflects the aspirations of the developing countries and what they intend by engaging into South-South cooperation. Any step to redefine such cooperation and its principles or confusing it with provisions or concepts derived from other forms of international cooperation is not helpful.
Reaffirming the importance and in fact, indispensability, of South-South cooperation, it should also be highlighted that South-South cooperation cannot, nor is it intended, to replace North-South cooperation. They are supposed to be complementary and mutually supporting and reinforcing. We consider North-South relations and cooperation a strategic policy track for the developing world. Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the North can yet improve quality of its cooperation with the South through, inter alia, learning from and adopting the guiding principles of the South-South cooperation such as respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs, mutual benefit and partnership among equals.
Islamic Republic of Iran as noted in paragraph 8 of the report SSC/17/1 on the review of progress in South-South Cooperation is among countries of the South in the Persian Gulf which enjoy rapid advances and have potential for stable, solid growth.
Meanwhile, Iran has developed cordial and close cooperation with other countries of the South in both regional and international arrangements. Nonetheless, and perhaps because of many bottlenecks and lack of necessary infrastructures, economic ties have not been progressing on an equal footing with political relations. However, with hindsight and through mutual cooperation we have been able to contribute to numerous projects and reconstruction plans in many developing countries. Building infrastructure, construction of hospitals and health clinics, academic and scientific cooperation, promotion of rural development and energy security are but some of the general topics under which Iran has implemented development projects with its partners from the South, in particular, Africa and LDCs.
At the same time, Iran has attached the highest priority to its cooperation with the neighboring countries in their reconstruction efforts. Iran has also undertaken several measures to facilitate safe, smooth, and economical transportation for its land-locked neighbors. It is our firm determination to remain committed to the promotion of South-South cooperation in every filed of development.
Thank You Mr. President.