Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

ON THE OCCASION OF  THE G-77 AND CHINA 34TH ANNUAL MINISTERIAL MEETING

New York, 28 September 2010

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honor for me to be with you for the opening of the thirty-fourth Annual meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G-77 and China. I thank you for this opportunity.

Your meeting takes place at an important moment. The world is getting more interdependent. We are increasingly facing global challenges and global threats that affect all countries. The economic and financial crisis, which the world economy is progressively starting to overcome, is an example in case. Climate change and environmental issues, pandemics, migration, are other such issues that have to be addressed through global action.

We all have to engage towards reaching a global consensus and, to this end we need a global governance structure that is strong, inclusive and open. The UN and its General Assembly have the unique legitimacy and expertise to play an important role to address these global challenges.

During the 65th session of the General Assembly, among other issues of significance, we will continue to work towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Last week’s summit sent a strong signal that the promise made in 2000 will be kept.

We have political momentum and we have an action plan. We now have to deliver and ensure that close follow up takes place.

During the 65th session, we will also focus on environmental issues. The outcome of last week’s high-level meeting on biodiversity will feed into the upcoming Conference of the Parties in Nagoya. I also intend to intensify the discussion on sustainable development. In this context, the term 'green economy' is frequently used. I am aware that this term has different meanings to different countries and that some of you are concerned by the use of it. Some fears are justified and must be taken into account.
However, for me 'green economy' does not mean 'new conditionality' but rather 'opportunity'. It is an opportunity to make our economic structures more respectful of natural resources and ensure sustainable development for the benefit of our planet, ourselves, and future generations.

During the 65th session, we will also work towards strengthening the multilateral framework to better address current and new global challenges. This will be done by intensifying efforts to reaffirm the United Nations and the General Assembly at the centre of global governance, and thus ensure that they can fully play their role in addressing global challenges. Many Heads of State and Government reflected on this during the general debate. It is now up to the General Assembly to take this further.

The role of the G-77 is vital in working together in shaping better global governance. The strength of your group is not only in its size - that represents almost two third of the United Nations membership and which spans across world regions. Many members of your group are also increasingly being recognized as emerging economic powers.

For many years the G-77 has already been an important driving force of many global economic and development issues on the agenda of the General Assembly. The global attention paid today to the Millennium Development Goals and financing for development is due to the perseverance of the G-77 and China.

Your group has also striven to strengthen the role of the General Assembly. I value these efforts and look very much forward to working together with you.

I intend to engage the General Assembly on the issue of global governance beyond the end of the general debate. As a first practical step, I intend to convene an informal dialogue pre- and post-G20 meetings with the Secretary-General and the G20 host country.

An informal debate in the second half of my presidency could also explore ways, in a more general sense, to shape a global governance system that is more representative, inclusive and open.

I count on your support.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I look forward to hearing your views and wish you a successful meeting.

Thank you.

* * *