unctad.org | Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China in Geneva
Statement by Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China in Geneva
08 Jan 2016

[Remarks by Mr. Taffere Tesfachew on behalf of UNCTAD Secretary-General]


Madame Chair, Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong,
H.E Ambassador Wayne McCook,
Mr. Vicente Paolo Yu III, South Centre
Distinguished delegates and adies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor for me to be at this Handover ceremony of the Chairmanship of the G77 and China in Geneva and read a statement on behalf of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, who has asked me to convey to you his seasonal greetings and his regrets that he could not be with you today.

Today we celebrate - the beginning of a new year - and also a successful and momentous year behind us, which culminated in important international agreements that defined a new global development agenda. Very soon you will embark on the preparatory work for UNCTAD XIV, which will provide us with the opportunity to move from decisions about objectives and goals towards developing a consensus on the actions required to realize them.

During 2015, Ambassador Rebong and her team provided the leadership and guidance needed to steer the G77 in the long road towards the fourteenth Session of UNCTAD in Nairobi, Kenya. I wish to express my appreciation and thanks - on behalf of the UNCTAD secretariat - to Ambassador Rebong for her excellent and skillful stewardship of G77 and her continuous commitment and support to UNCTAD. Today the responsibility of steering the Group in the final journey towards Nairobi and the follow-up work until the end of the year passes to her distinguished successor, Ambassador McCook.

Looking back, 2015 was - indeed - a crucial year for both UNCTAD and the multilateral processes. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development, the 2030 Agenda Summit, the COP 21, and the WTO MC 10 - all helped to catalyse the international community towards a new approach to development. The new approach transcends the traditional North-South divide - moving us instead towards a model of universal cooperation for the common welfare of humanity.

This transformation owes a great deal to the determined and continuous struggle of G77 - for more than five decades - for a global approach to development that seeks to end the inequalities that have unfortunately marked much of the history of global economic relations. For the first time in many years, there is hope now that global approach to development will advance the common good in order to bring prosperity for all and move us towards stronger values and justice in international relations. We believe that through the work ahead, especially as you move towards UNCTAD XIV, you can put in place and reinforce some of the elements that will make this possible.

For example, it is important that the UNCTAD XIV outcome document recognizes that prosperity for all is not just a slogan but a core pillar of the new Development Agenda. The overall theme for UNCTAD XIV that you have agreed on, that is, "From decisions to actions: Moving towards an Inclusive and Equitable Global Economic Environment for Trade and Development", gives the UNCTAD membership the opportunity to translate the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into concrete outcomes - leading to the development of a fair and balanced global economic system, in the spirit of the founding ideals of UNCTAD.

Second, as G77 has argued consistently, UNCTAD has an important role to play in the global economic system of checks and balances. Therefore, you can use this year's quadrennial Conference and related events, such as the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China, to reinforce the core values of UNCTAD and its important role in advocating for greater balance in international economic relations. Ultimately, the objective is to achieve prosperity for all by ensuring that the international economic system functions as a mechanism to advance the interests of humanity.

Third, you may wish to use opportunities for multilateral discourse in the coming years to better coordinate relations within the global South and to help advance the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the vision of poverty eradication. During 2015, you have already contributed significantly to the various multilateral processes through the Geneva Dialogue. We hope that you will continue to build on this momentum to make the Geneva Dialogue an effective forum for deliberating on trade, development and other economic issues. The fourteenth Session of UNCTAD also provides a timely opportunity to further strengthen our common objectives. As usual, the secretariat stands ready to support your work - both during the preparatory process and at the Conference.

In closing, Madame Chair, allow me to reiterate that - in line with the long established tradition - the G77 can continue to count on us, just as we continue to count on you. Let us work together to strengthen UNCTAD and make it an effective development organization and a key instrument for advancing our collective vision of creating a just world and prosperity for all. Thank you for your attention.


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