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South-South cooperation vital to international cooperation
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UN Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang said in New York on Sunday that South-South cooperation is an important component of international cooperation.

Replying questions from Xinhua at a press conference after the high-level Symposium in preparation for the first biennial Development Cooperation Forum slated for July in New York, Sha noted that South-South cooperation is a kind of cooperation that " the poor helping the poor," which is of great importance as it has accelerated the rapid development in many developing countries.

"The South-South cooperation is facing great challenges, including how to accumulate enough funds to help developing countries to achieve development, enhance aid efficiencies and transparencies and eliminate corruption," Sha noted.

He added that the South-South cooperation, which is of great potential, needs to explore new mechanisms and strengthen aid quality framework.

As valued complements to North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation for development are receiving growing attention and interest from various stakeholders, he said.

He also noted that North-South cooperation should also be given a focus as South-South cooperation is being promoted, urging developed countries to increase development aid to developing countries.

As for China's role in South-South cooperation, Sha expressed that though China still has many poor areas despite of its rapid development, China is exerting much efforts to increase development aid and help less developed countries to achieve economic and social development.

"This is not only proved in the China-Africa cooperation, but also in the cooperation between China and other developing countries," Sha added.

Sha also told reporters that conditioned aid is "bad," which will distort aid effectiveness, adding that Chinese aid is unconditional.

He said China itself is also a beneficiary of South-South cooperation since it has learned a lot of good experience from other developing countries and accelerated its open and reform process as well as economic and social development.

For his part, Leo Merores, the newly elected president of the Economic and Social Council, hailed China, which respects other developing countries, as an important player in South-South cooperation.

Entitled "Trends in development cooperation: South-South and Triangular cooperation and Aid effectiveness," the two-day Symposium attracted over 140 participants from some 60 countries, international agencies and private sectors.

(Xinhua News Agency, January 21, 2008)

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