‘Group of 77’ developing countries critical to overcoming global crises, Ban says

23 January 2009
Handover ceremony of the chairmanship of the Group of 77

The cooperation of developing nations is critical to overcome the concurrent crises in finance, climate change, global health and extreme poverty, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the ‘Group of 77’ States today, at a ceremony where the leadership of the powerful caucus passed from Antigua and Barbuda to Sudan.

“The crises that erupted last year highlighted the interdependence of economies and countries,” Mr. Ban said in remarks read out by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to the Group, which was established in 1964 by 77 States, but now represents more than 130 countries, usually including China.

“As we move into 2009, these global challenges remain. They threaten to undo the progress made towards the development goals of the last decade,” he added, stressing that efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to slash poverty and other ills by 2015 required the hard work of all.

In that light, Mr. Ban stressed the importance of cooperation between developing countries and expressed appreciation for the Group’s strong support for his efforts to strengthen the development pillar of the UN. He promised to continue to work to increase the effectiveness of those efforts across the system

However, peace and security, development and human rights – the fundamentals of the UN Charter – are interdependent, especially in Africa, where people “so desperately need peace for development.”

“I sincerely hope that Sudan’s leadership of the Group of 77 and China will accelerate efforts to find an acceptable resolution of these conflicts,” he said.

Also addressing the handover ceremony, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto recalled his association with the caucus since its inception and listed some of its achievements.

Mr. D’Escoto said he looked forward to working with the Sudan Chairmanship in a spirit of “collective responsibility” with other groups and Member States to enhance the relevance and vitality of the General Assembly.

“This is the best way to promote more effective multilateralism and deepen our cooperation and demonstrate our leadership on complex issues, including the ongoing reform of the United Nations,” he said.


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