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19 December - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged developing countries to pool their knowledge and resources to speed up progress towards the internationally agreed poverty reduction targets by 2015.

“Developing countries that pool know-how, exchange ideas and coordinate plans can attain much greater gains than they ever would on their own,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.

“ The recent Global South-South Development Expo in Geneva showed the dynamism and synergies that such cooperation can engender, in particular on decent work, food security, climate change, health and education,” the Secretary-General said, encouraging collaboration in efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and child mortality, and lack of access to health care and education, by 2015.

Mr. Ban said that in the decade since the MDGs were first articulated, many countries have made significant progress in raising school enrolment, reducing child mortality, improving access to clean water and boosting their response to malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

“Yet 1.75 billion people in 104 countries remain unable to meet some of their basic needs, according to the Multidimensional Poverty Index launched earlier this year by the United Nations Development Programme. South-South cooperation is a vital component of the world's response,” he said.

“On this United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, let us resolve to expand our networks of solidarity as the MDG target date of 2015 approaches, and as we work on the even longer horizon of building a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world for all,” the Secretary-General added.