UNRepresentatives from some 150 countries are currently gathered at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, to tackle development challenges and discuss ways to harness environmentally-friendly solutions developed in the global South.

During the five-day Global South-South Development Expo, which began on Monday, Oct 28, Government ministers, business leaders and experts will focus on this year’s theme, ‘Building inclusive green economies.’

“The transition to inclusive green economies is essential to the economic and social development of countries all over the world,” said UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner. “However, no one nation, community or agency has all the answers.

“This is why so many inspirational initiatives have gathered at this Expo – a mirror to the collective creativity of nations, cities, companies and citizens – to galvanise action that will place the global South on the pathway to a sustainable, low-carbon, green future.”
During the Expo, which was organised by the UN Office of South-South Cooperation and hosted by UNEP, delegates would be able to attend and participate in forums and roundtables which seek to highlight successful South-south initiatives and experiences that are benefiting the environment, economic development and job creation. They would also explore the role that this type of collaboration would have in the years beyond 2015.

Other topics to be discussed in the 16 partnership forums include green growth, business between China and Africa, youth volunteerism and the role of oil and gas in the transition to a green economy.

South-south cooperation is the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries. Today, over $5 trillion in reserves are held by countries of the global South, which now also account for 47 per cent of global trade.

“Solutions originating in the Global South are delivering results around the world,” said Deputy-Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

Also in attendance was Vice-President of the High-Level Committee of the UN General Assembly on South-South Cooperation and Deputy Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN Zsolt Hetesy. “This expo is a concrete expression of the partnerships we need for the path we seek,” he said.

“Over the past three decades the Global South has witnessed unprecedented growth and expansion of incomes, bolstering of trade, lifting of hundreds of millions from poverty and emergence of a growing middle class,” said Hetesy. “Much, in this unfolding phenomenon stems from a very noticeable surge in the practice and advancement of South-south cooperation by Member States, organisations of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders.”


Information from This Day was used in this report.