VIENNA, 19 November 2012 - The fifth annual Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) opened today in Vienna, with more than 600 delegates from 150 countries convening to exchange and scale-up best practices and innovative solutions to cross-cutting energy insecurity and climate change challenges.
The conference is hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and organized in conjunction with more than 20 UN agencies and partners.
The theme of the GSSD Expo 2012 is ‘Investing in Energy and Climate Change: Inclusive Partnerships for Sustainable Development’ and has been conceived as a concrete response to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
“This Expo highlights successful development solutions, as well as the efforts of the UN system to generate momentum toward sustainable development,” stressed the UN Secretary-General in his statement.
“The Global South is now poised to be a major force in global economic expansion,” said John Ashe, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and President of the UN General Assembly’s High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, in his opening statement. “By 2030, the global economy is projected to grow five-fold, with two-thirds of it expected to be in the South,” he added.
Rebecca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme, said it is possible to have inclusive growth while caring for the environment. “Many solutions and strategies originate from countries of the South, which are using innovative approaches to tackling climate change, while at the same time expanding economic opportunity.” Grynspan said a good example of this is the Yasuní-ITT initiative, in Ecuador, which fights climate change “while simultaneously protecting one of the world’s richest areas of biodiversity, as well as the rights and livelihoods of the indigenous people who depend on it.”
“We are here at this Expo to showcase solutions that already exist,” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General, adding that “transformational change is possible.”
Looking ahead, Yiping Zhou, Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, called for “smarter solutions, smarter partnerships and smarter investment.”
Since its inception in 2008, the GSSD Expo has featured contributions from hundreds of partner countries, United Nations agencies, private sector enterprises and civil society organizations.
To watch a video on the first day of the expo, click here
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