Foreign Minister delivers statement at the UN South South Cooperation Meeting

21 March 2019

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid last evening delivered the national statement of the Maldives at the ongoing Second High Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Speaking at the plenary session of the High Level Conference, Minister Shahid reiterated the new commitment of the Maldives to cooperate more closely with regional and international partners in the developing world, to establish new partnerships and to explore new economic opportunities that would be beneficial to the Maldives.

Minister Shahid emphasized that since the First UN High Level Conference on South South Cooperation was held in 1978, much has changed in the developing world. Cooperation between developing countries act as an engine of growth for world economy, playing an increasingly significant role in global trade, especially in new and emerging markets.

Minister Shahid mentioned that the Maldives had traditionally benefited immensely from North-South cooperation and development assistance, referring to the assistance and grants provided by the developed countries.. However, since the Maldives’ graduation from the list of LDCs in 2011, and due to its status as a higher Middle Income Country, the Maldives must look towards new opportunities for investment and trade, in building capacity, and through exchange of information and technology. Given the size and value of economic markets in the “Global South” or the developing world, the Maldives will seek to take full advantage of the frameworks and platforms provided by South-South and triangular cooperation to further its economic ambitions and comparative advantages in international trade.

On his visit to Argentina, Minister Shahid will also conduct a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the conference, to discuss important issues of mutual economic interest. Minister Shahid is being accompanied on this visit by His Excellency Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations, and His Excellency Ahmed Latheef, Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives to the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Second High-Level UN Conference on South South Cooperation is being held in Buenos Aires from 20-22 March 2019. The Conference marks the fortieth anniversary of the UN Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, which convened from 30 August to 12 September 1978, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That meeting adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA). South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.