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STATEMENT BY

 HON. SAM KUTESA

 MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF UGANDA

DURING THE VIRTUAL MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION

This was delivered by the State minister incharge Of international Affairs Hon.Okello Oryem.

He delivered his address via Video Conferencing.

26 SEPTEMBER 2020

Hon. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples Republic of China

Hon. Ministers

Representatives of the United Nations

Ladies and gentlemen

Allow me to begin by thanking the Chair for organizing this important conference in this trying moment of our time. The theme ‘towards a shared future for developing countries’’ fits well with our engagement in dealing with contemporary challenges facing the world, particularly developing countries.

We note that the conference is being held when the world is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The signing of the Charter of the United Nations 75 years ago brought all nations together to address the greatest challenge of the time, which was the threat to international peace and security. However, we have since faced many more challenges to our very survival including poverty, climate change and diseases, among others.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, we are marking just 5 years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement on Climate Change, where several commitments were made by world leaders to address the above challenges. However, the current COVID 19 pandemic has devastated many economies, making it very difficult for many countries to evaluate progress made in these commitments. In Uganda, we have aligned our national planning with the 2030 Agenda, with emphasis on infrastructure development.

It is worth noting that both 2030 Agenda and the Belt and Road initiative of the government of the Peoples Republic of China blends well with our national priorities in infrastructure development.

Mr. Chairman,

To deal with the effects of the Covid 19 Pandemic, there is need for global cooperation and collaboration to invest in research and development of its vaccines, improve health facilities and training more health workers among other interventions. There is no doubt that COVID 19 is yet another testimony that more than ever before, international cooperation is crucial in all aspects of sustainable development and human survival. Let me take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China for the leadership role and donations received in fighting this pandemic.

With all these in mind, it should be appreciated that South-South cooperation provides an opportunity for its members to play significant roles in addressing challenges related to sustainable development including collaboration in the fight against Covid 19.

South-South cooperation should be seen to be an integral part of the international community’s support to the countries in the south, where we can draw on  the different expertise and resources existing in our countries for mutual benefit.

Some important areas of cooperation may include building human and productive capacity, technical assistance and exchange of best practices, particularly in areas related to health, education, trade, investment, environment, tourism, transit transport and technology transfer among others. South-South Cooperation should also be structured in a manner that encourages North-South cooperation through triangular mechanisms.

Ladies and gentlemen, more than ever before, there is great need to strengthen South-South Cooperation to address the challenges of our time, including the Corona Virus, and other issues of sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman, please allow me on behalf of the government of the Republic of Uganda to extend our sincere appreciation for the financial and material support extended to my country, when Uganda offered to host the Third South Summit, which has now been postponed due the COVD 19 Pandemic. I wish to reiterate that the offer still stands and when the pandemic is contained at global level, new dates for the Summit will be communicated.

Thank you for your attention.

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