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UN chief says G-77 "fundamental" for Rio+20

01-12-2012 09:03 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said that the Group of 77 (G-77 and China) is "fundamental" given the "historic opportunity" of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to tackle the main global challenge of building a sustainable world.

"This year we have a historic opportunity to address one of the main challenges facing humanity: building a sustainable world," Ban said at a meeting of the G-77, as Algeria officially took over the chairmanship of the diplomatic group that is comprised of countries of the global south.

With Rio+20 being scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and it being billed as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to build the future we want," Ban said strategies to foster sustainability on a global scale is critical.

"We need to connect the dots between policy challenges -- climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment," he said. "Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all."

The G-77 leadership is "fundamental in ensuring that concrete actionable measures are adopted at Rio," said Ban.

He said safeguarding the environment is a fundamental priority of the Rio process, but noted it requires simultaneous action in the economic and social pillars. The challenges loom large, particularly as the debt crisis continues in Europe and elsewhere, unemployment high, inequality growing and social unrest, he said.

Ban highlighted that the UN's Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs), a set of eight international development objectives that UN member states have pledged to meet by 2015, "remain a blueprint toward achieving our development objectives."

"We are on the last stretch and we must make the final push to achieve our commitments," Ban said. "Yet, we must also begin thinking about the next steps beyond 2015."

With a "historic opportunity to reshape the way we think about development," Ban said it is critical to make the most of this moment.

G-77 was established on June 15, 1964 by 77 developing countries signatories of the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy- Seven Countries" issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

G-77 is the largest intergovernmental organization 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 issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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