South Africa assumes the Chair of the Group of 77
President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia hands over the Chairmanship of the G77 plus China to South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mr Luwellyn Landers. Pictured applauding at the Handover Ceremony is UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Photo: Jacoline Schoonees
South Africa assumed the Chair of the Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 8 January 2014.
The G77 is the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues in the United Nations system, promote South-South co-operation and strengthen economic and technical co-operation among developing countries themselves.
Accepting the responsibility of Chairing the G77, the South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers thanked “the members of the G77 most for placing its trust and confidence in South Africa”. Deputy Minister Landers also paid a special tribute to the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Mr Evo Morales Ayma for Bolivia’s stewardship of the G77 and China during 2014. He stated that South Africa “will spare no effort in continuing Bolivia’s legacy by ensuring that we collectively enhance the development agenda of the South”.
South Africa will Chair the G77 during the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at a crucial juncture in the global community’s efforts to agree on the development priorities and goals needed to take the work of the MDGs forward and to transform development beyond 2015.
2015 is further a critically important year for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a new legal instrument that contains commitments for both developed and developing countries, is expected to be adopted under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
During its term South Africa will be responsible for negotiating and speaking on behalf of two-thirds of the UN membership on key development issues.
Deputy Minister Lander’s concluded, that “after 50 distinguished years, the G77 remains all the more relevant, specifically at this important juncture when the international community is considering our collective development aspirations beyond 2015”.