UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday praised the developing countries' contribution to the global growth as the UN prepares for a major conference on South-South cooperation.
In his opening remarks at the Global South-South Development Expo 2018, Guterres said the Southern countries have contributed to more than half of all global growth in recent years.
The UN chief also noted intra-South trade accounts for more than one quarter of all world trade, and that foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows from the South represent one-third of global FDI flows.
Remittances from migrant workers to low- and middle-income countries reached 466 billion U.S. dollars last year, helping to lift millions of families out of poverty, he said.
"Innovative forms of Southern-led knowledge sharing, technology transfer, emergency response and livelihood recovery are transforming lives," he said, adding that "new financial institutions have helped generate infrastructure and sustainable development projects around the world."
At the same time, the secretary-general noted development gains have been uneven and incomplete, citing over 700 million people still unable to meet basic needs.
To address the problem, Guterres said the expo is about "harnessing the power and potential of the South for the common good" and "sharing homegrown Southern solutions for sustainable development."
Organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) in collaboration with UN agencies and other partners, the annual three-day expo which is being held at UN Headquarters runs till Friday.
About 50 institutional partners representing UN member states, private sectors and regional organizations and about 800 delegates from over 120 member states are attending the expo, according to UNOSSC Director Jorge Chediek.
The expo is a step in the run-up to the Second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Argentina in March 2019, where the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was adopted 40 years ago to declare that incorporating South-South cooperation is a mandate for the UN system.