Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner,
President of the General Assembly,
I am honoured to address this gathering of Ministers of the Group of 77 and China. I would like to join the previous speakers in expressing our appreciation to the Republic of Yemen for its able leadership of the Group this year.
Allow me also to congratulate the Argentine Republic for taking on this responsibility in 2011. We look forward to your leadership in the coming year and to continuing working closely with the G-77 secretariat in support of your chairmanship.
Since its establishment in 1964, the Group of 77 has been at the forefront of international development, promoting the collective interests and views of developing countries, and enhancing their joint negotiating capacity on all major economic, social and environmental issues.
It would be hard to imagine the progress we have achieved at the UN in the broad area of development without the effective leadership and participation of the Group of 77.
In recent years the global economic, food and energy crises have buffeted our world and left millions of people in worse socio-economic conditions. Unemployment and under-employment remain a paramount concern and a job crisis is gradually unfolding in many developing countries – an issue that should be tackled without delay if we are to succeed in promoting a sustained and fair economic recovery.
We have also seen accelerating degradation of our ecosystems and continuing lack of consensus in the international community on how to deal with climate change.
Against this backdrop of the multiple crises and the emergence of ad hoc groupings, the leadership role of the Group of 77 has never become more important.
In supporting the Group of 77 and other Member States in meeting these challenges, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has spearheaded the preparations of analytical reports aimed at promoting a better understanding of the nature of the crises and their impacts on development, as well as in proposing response options.
We have also assisted the membership of G-77 and other political groupings in advancing intergovernmental deliberations and negotiations on developing effective policy responses, especially during the lead-up to the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on Millennium Development Goals.
The Department will continue to support the implementation of the agreed outcomes of the MDG Summit, particularly through our mandate in support of the Economic and Social Council.
Along with the substantive support to intergovernmental processes, we contribute to the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including those relating to the sustainable development of small island developing States.
A critical component of our mandate is to build capacity and support Member States’ needs for upstream policy and technical advice on development challenges. We provide technical, advisory services to member States in macroeconomic policy, social issues, statistics, population, sustainable development, ICT for development, governance and public administration.
In this regard, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Group of 77 for your support to the Development Account and to regular technical cooperation programme.
Looking ahead, I would like to bring to your attention the preparation of the Rio+20 where continuing leadership by the Group of 77 and China will be expected.
As you know, a major event on the UN’s development agenda is the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – also known as Rio+20. Member States have provided clear guidance on the objective and theme of the Conference. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated me as the Conference Secretary-General. The expectations for the Conference are growing and we will do our level best to contribute to the success of Rio+20. Preparations for the Conference will intensify in 2011. I will be counting on the leadership and support of the Group of 77 in guiding us in the effective preparation and organization of Rio + 20 Conference.