In his first major statement to the “Group of 77,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said close cooperation with the powerful caucus of developing nations will help him to foster a better and stronger United Nations.
“I am confident that the new Chair of the G-77 will work with me – a new Secretary-General – to implement existing initiatives, and to push for further reform and strengthening of the UN system,” he told a handover ceremony in New York where leadership of the Group of some 130 countries passed from South Africa to Pakistan.
Mr. Ban pointed to inequalities within the global economy impeding development, and said success in tackling them hinges on building a “stronger, more effective international partnership.”
Achieving “development for all” is now a realistic aim due in large part to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), objectives to slash poverty and other global ills by 2015, according to Mr. Ban. He cautioned, however, that in order to bridge this implementation gap, several significant challenges must urgently be tackled.
These include bolstering the relationship between and among the Organization and its member countries. “I look forward to reenergizing our Organization, and to turning a new page in relations between the Secretariat and Member States,” he said.
The Secretary-General also addressed other issues key to promoting development such as the long-awaited conclusion to the Doha Development Round, a series of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations begun in Qatar in 2001 and targeted at liberalizing trade worldwide. Talks have been stalled since mid-2006.
“More than anything else, a fair and equitable international trading regime can provide the basis for a true global partnership for development,” Mr. Ban told the Group, which was established in 1964 by 77 developing countries.
The tenure of Mr. Ban, who took office this month, coincides with Pakistan taking the helm of the Group. “New leadership at both the Secretariat and the Group of 77 gives us a real opportunity to advance our shared goals… to build a better, stronger United Nations,” Mr. Ban affirmed.