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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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33rd Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group 77 and China

New York, 25 September 2009

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Mrs. Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour and a privilege for me to address the G-77 and China, the largest group of Member States of the United Nations, on the occasion of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, under the skillful chairmanship of Sudan.

During the week since the opening of the 64th session of the General Assembly, Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening multilateralism and dialogue as the best way to address the global challenges of peace and development. I am committed to work with all Member States to ensure effective responses to these challenges, most of which are of direct concern to the developing countries. 

The environmental degradation and climate change, extreme poverty and deadly disease such as Malaria and HIV AIDS, the set-backs to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the economic, financial, food and energy crisis, disarmament and non-proliferation, and a host of other issues demonstrate the urgent need for greater international cooperation among all countries, regions and groups.

Member States must work together for a strengthened global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of their development strategies. This is more important in the case of the most vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries, Land-locked Developing Countries, and Small-Island Developing States.

High on the agenda of the 64th Session is the urgent need to assess the progress made so far on the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDG’s. During the coming months, the preparation for the September 2010 high level event will be a major task, and I hope that this important group will be a key player in ensuring an outcome which fully takes into account the interests of the developing countries.    

We will also intensify collective efforts to reach a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009. I will also invite Member States to put together their energies in order to address the global food crisis, which requires a comprehensive, coordinated and sustained response at the international and national levels. We shall also follow-up on the recommendations of the June 2009 Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its impact on Development. Member States need also to continue engaging constructively in the intergovernmental negotiations on system-wide coherence. Revitalization of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council will continue to be integral part of the overall reform of the United Nations. We must also work together to overcome the peace and security challenges that confront particularly the developing countries most notably in Africa. The United Nations must also play its due role in finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question.

The Group of 77 has demonstrated, through South- South Cooperation including triangular cooperation, that the only way to address the specific needs and expectations of the developing countries is based on a strong, genuine, broad based partnership and solidarity.

We need a strengthened United Nations to ensure that the organization is responding effectively and efficiently to the current and emerging crises, and I’m looking forward to collaborate with all of you in this endeavor. Let us join our efforts to transform the challenges into new opportunities for progress.

Thank you.

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