March 22, 2019

BUENOS AIRES – The Philippine government, through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), committed to stronger collaboration with fellow developing countries as a United Nations conference celebrated the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) for South-South cooperation.

Recognized as a pioneering effort, the BAPA is a blueprint that details approaches to development assistance, and emphasizes collective self-reliance among developing countries as a foundation for a new international economic order.

In September 1978, the Philippines was one of 138 countries to adopt the BAPA to promote and implement technical cooperation among developing countries.

“We will continue to provide assistance to our friends in the ASEAN and the larger Asia Pacific region. Moving forward, we will also enhance engagements with Latin America and Africa as much as our resources allow,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

Pernia led the Philippine delegation, composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs, NEDA, and the Philippine Statistics Authority, to the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation from March 20 to 22 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The High-Level Conference, which marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, was held to review and enhance South-South and triangular cooperation.

“Four decades ago, our countries gathered here in Buenos Aires to affirm the value of mutual help and self-reliance. It was an outstanding triumph of solidarity over narrow self-interest in an environment then rife with ideological conflict. Today we look back to celebrate our successes even as we set a new direction for South-South cooperation,” he added.

Secretary Pernia, who delivered the Philippine country statement among heads of state and government ministers and officials from 193 countries, said the Philippine government will share its knowledge and best practices in agriculture, science and technology, education, MSMEs, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction with other developing countries through the Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines and other government agencies.

“It is abundantly clear that many are still left behind, even in countries that have successfully transitioned from low-income ranks. The impact of development can never be optimized if vast inequalities persist within and between states. This is especially true in the face of rapid and disruptive changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.

Pernia emphasized that the Philippines assumes its responsibility of using resources wisely to sustain its own high growth trajectory while, at the same time, dedicating efforts to help less developed countries.

“We rededicate ourselves to the principles of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. Let us work together to build our human capital and institutional capabilities, and continue to share our knowledge, expertise, and technology.  Let us also defend an open and rules-based global order that allows us to do all these from which we benefit,” he added.