Guyana assumes chairmanship of G77

…PM tells group of Guyana’s push to deepen democratic norms
…realise high levels of prosperity, cohesion for all citizens

GUYANA assumed Chairmanship of the Group of 77 (G77) and China, on Wednesday, vowing to maintain the Group’s core principles; to build upon the past achievements and to promote collective economic interests for all involved.

Leading a delegation to the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York for the handing- over ceremony was Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings. The Prime Minister delivered remarks on behalf of Guyana following an address and formal handing over of the Chairmanship by Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, Riad Al-Malki.

In his remarks, Al-Malki congratulated the country and expressed his confidence in Guyana’s ability to serve as Chair. “We are confident in your ability to carry out these functions successfully and in your wisdom to shoulder this responsibility and enhance the interest of the Group with efficiency,” Al-Malki said. He noted that in 2019, Palestine was granted the unique honor to Chair the Group of 77 and China and thanked all members of the Group and other stakeholders for their cooperation.

Subsequently, in his address, Prime Minister Nagamootoo stated that many developing countries in the world continue to grapple with a plethora of challenges linked to climate change, poverty, hunger and disease. He noted that there is a “deepening trust deficit in multilateralism” and challenges with regards to financing, trade, technology transfer and capacity building.

With most, if not all, of these countries nonetheless intent on improving their economies and their position in the world, the Prime Minister stated that the Group of G77 and China must be cognizant of its role. “2020 is already full of significant undertakings and challenges that will sternly test the mettle of our Group. It must be easily evident, therefore, that nothing short of a strong, credible and focused G77 will enable us to be equal to the demands of our time,” he said.

“For this reason, it is that these core imperatives of working for a strong, credible and focused G77 for which our energies as Chair will be dedicated. We envisage that during 2020, we will seek to enhance the image and character of our Group as the largest negotiating block within the United Nations.”

The Prime Minister said that while the countries of the Group of 77 and China possess varying circumstances, realities and experiences, they are strongest when they act in solidarity.

Attendees of the handing-over ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 from the State of Palestine to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (DPI photo)
He said: “We will continue to use our diversity as a source of strength. The world needs a strong United Nations and a strong G77.” Nagamootoo told the country representatives that Guyana is well aware of the fact that the G77 operates on a principled basis and takes consistent and coherent actions based on its core principles.

This credibility, he assured the attending, will not be open to question even as the Group works to revise and review its modality of working methods to maintain its efficiency.
He noted that as the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is an opportune time for the G77 to take stock of its contribution such as the convening of the South Summit — the supreme decision-making forum of the Group.

On behalf of Guyana, the Prime Minister congratulated Uganda for its hosting of the Third South Summit which will provide an opportunity for progress review and the strategizing of future actions. “We encourage all members to participate in the South Summit at the highest possible level,” he said.
Nagamootoo expressed that Guyana feels much pride in assuming the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China in the year that the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee of its Republican status.

He informed the gathering that 2020 also marks the year that the country will launch its 2020-2029 Decade of Development within the context of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040.

The Prime Minister said: “While a small country, Guyana has been consistently determined to strengthen democratic norms and to realise high levels of prosperity, cohesion and progress for all its citizens. At the international level, these convictions have been mirrored by our strong subscription to such fundamental principles as the sovereign equality of states, the peaceful resolution of disputes, the international rule of law and the power of multilateralism and the meaningful contribution of all states – small or large, rich or poor.”

He explained that it is these principles that have inspired the country’s activism at the international level and to maintain its membership in organisations such as CARICOM, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Commonwealth, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), the Non-Aligned movement and the UN.

Nagamootoo said that it was these same principles that saw Guyana’s support for the dismantling of apartheid; support for the Palestinian cause; opposition to the embargo on Cuba and the violation of rights and fundamental freedoms of all.

He stated that Guyana has a commitment to sustainable development and will remain undistracted even in its new status as an oil-producing nation.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Guyana, since its independence, has sought to maintain peaceful relations with other nations and has worked to advance bilateral relations for common cause. “We anticipate engaging all countries — developed and developing — in a spirit of partnership to advance the interest of the group and of global priorities,” he said.

Meanwhile, also in remarks, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, thanked the State of Palestine for its efforts over the past 12 months and congratulated Guyana even as he assured the country continued support of the Secretariat and his Office. Guterres delved into reform process of the G77; the plan for the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the budget available to achieving this.

He was proud to state that, this year, the G77 will see its reforms moving from “structures and processes to implementation and results” even the wider agenda of tackling common development challenges and assuring a fair globalization is pursued. He lamented that the changes needed with regards to poverty eradication, emissions reduction, employment creation or gender equality are not happening fast enough and international cooperation and solidarity are needed to change this.

Guterres used the spotlight to encourage all developed countries to meet the commitments they made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; to push for cutting of greenhouse gas emissions by all countries; to promote digital connections worldwide and to outline more solutions to reduce our debt to countries. There are 135 countries in the Group of 77 and China. It has since grown to become the largest intergovernmental organisation and presently serves as a platform for Member States and China to articulate and promote collective economic interests and enhance joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues in the UN system.

Sourced from Guyana Chronicle 16-01-2020

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