Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the 17th Session of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation
22 May 2012
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Ambassador Ashe, on your election as the President of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation, which has become an important forum to discuss how south-south cooperation can contribute to our collective efforts to promote development cooperation in the midst of today’s rapidly changing global setting. On this occasion, I would also like to extend my congratulations to the other newly elected Bureau members. You can count on my delegation’s constructive engagement throughout this session.
Triangular cooperation was one of the features included in the report: ‘Innovation with Impact – Financing 21st Century Development,’ which was presented by Bill Gates at the G20 meeting in Cannes last November. In this report, the example of Brazil working with Japan to help poor farmers in Mozambique grow soybeans was highlighted. The G20 was entreated to work together to forge more of this sort innovative partnership.
Traditionally, development cooperation was a strictly north-to-south endeavor. Today however, because south-south cooperation has been steadily evolving and new development partners such as emerging economies, the private sector, foundations and others continue to enter into in the global development community, we need a new global development partnership which includes all stakeholders, both traditional and new. Japan is of the view that triangular cooperation can promote this new global development partnership, and is committed to further enhance this type of development cooperation.
Japan has long utilized triangular cooperation as an important modality of our development policy in order to support south-south cooperation in terms of both technical and financial assistance. Japan initiated its overseas technical cooperation by joining the Colombo plan in 1954, when we were still in the midst of post-war reconstruction, receiving development cooperation from donor countries and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank. This effort on the part of Japan is one of the first examples of south-south cooperation, and this is precisely the reason why we put such great importance on supporting triangular cooperation initiatives even after we have entered OECD in 1964.
As of now, the Government of Japan has signed Partnership Programme agreements with 12 countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, and Egypt, among others, in order to support south-south cooperation by means of triangular cooperation initiatives. Furthermore, I am happy to note that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA) signed a MOU this February to enhance triangular cooperation between the Middle-East, Central Asia, the Balkans, and Africa.
Within the context of the United Nations, south-south cooperation and north-south cooperation have been often perceived as working at odds or even as mutually exclusive concepts. Japan does not share this view, since we believe that both south-south cooperation and north-south cooperation are two complementary means to a common end; namely, providing support to people in need in less-developed countries. As a country that was once one of the first practitioners of south-south cooperation and is now a responsible donor which promotes triangular cooperation, Japan wants to see this unfortunate conceptual divide bridged. Japan urges the United Nations, including the South-South Cooperation High-Level Committee, to take bold actions to keep up with today’s changing development cooperation landscape and to position itself responsibly in the new global development partnership. I count on the leadership of you, Mr. President, and the Bureau members to this end. My delegation will spare no efforts in supporting this important endeavor.