Helen Clark: “Sustaining the rise of the South – where from here, and the role of a renewed, universal global development agenda”

Extracts from a speech by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator: Sydney Ideas Distinguished Speaker Lecture -“Sustaining the rise of the South – where from here, and the role of a renewed, universal global development agenda”.

“Thank you for inviting me to deliver the Sydney Ideas Distinguished Speaker Lecture here at the University of Sydney. My address tonight begins with observations about the rise of many nations of the South – an outcome for which all of us committed to development work, and one which is well documented in this year’s global Human Development Report from UNDP.

That Report also makes a number of policy recommendations on issues which need to be addressed for the rise of the South to be sustained, and I will comment on those.

But I will argue that it is not just the South which is facing development challenges: a range of factors is impeding peace and progress more generally. That is why the post-2015 global development agenda which should follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) needs to be a single, unified, and universal agenda. It can be inspired by the five big transformative shifts in our thinking about development which have been advocated by the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on post-2015 The strengths of both the North and the South will need to be drawn on to advance it.

In July The Economist published an article titled “When giants slow down”, which argued that the dramatically rapid growth of emerging economies in the last two decades, particularly the BRICS, “marks the biggest economic transformation in modern history.”

But it also suggests that we have reached an “important inflection point” where “the emerging giants will grow larger, and their ranks will swell; but their tread will no longer shake the Earth as once it did.”

This image of giants treading the earth, and shaking it, is a powerful one; but also one which creates apprehension. I, however, take a positive view of the historic transformation which the rise of countries of the South represents and of how it contributes to the development of all countries.”

 

Click here to read the full transcript.

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