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UN urges G77 nations to champion development agenda

01-12-2012 09:21 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, and Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, on Wednesday urged the bloc of developing countries known as the Group of 77 and China (G77+China) to ensure that concrete and actionable measures are adopted at the forthcoming UN conference on sustainable development in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

"Safeguarding the environment is a fundamental priority of the Rio process," the secretary-general said at a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York where Argentina handed over the chairmanship of the G77 to Algeria.

The international community will gather at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June to chart a course towards a more sustainable and equitable world. The Conference will focus on two themes -- a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

G77 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 UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

G77 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.

"Promoting balanced and stable economic growth and ensuring social equity are essential," said Ban. "Yet the challenges loom large. The debt crisis continues in Europe and elsewhere. Markets are volatile. Budgets are getting squeezed. Unemployment is unacceptably high."

He added that the role of the G77 is an important part of the global effort to mobilize political will to achieve sustainable development.

Al-Nasser stressed the need for coordinated action by G77 and China to ensure successful outcome of Rio+20.

"I am convinced that under the strong leadership of Algeria Rio+ 20 negotiations will lead to a successful outcome and will be an opportunity to give effect to a new vision," Al-Nasser said in a speech delivered on his behalf by his chef de cabinet, Mutlaq al Qahtani.

On the achievement of the global poverty reduction blueprint known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight internationally accepted anti-poverty targets to be reached by 2015, the UN chief urged the Group of 77 and China to strive to ensure that the targets are attained by the 2015 deadline.

Ban also invited the G77 and China to be active in the dialogue regarding the post-2015 international development agenda, saying " In the coming year and beyond, we have a historic opportunity to reshape the way we think about development."

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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