Secretary-General Says Developing Countries Have Special Understanding of Haiti’s Challenges; Hopes Their Continued Support Can Aid Recovery, in New York Remarks

22 January 2010

Secretary-General Says Developing Countries Have Special Understanding of Haiti’s Challenges; Hopes Their Continued Support Can Aid Recovery, in New York Remarks

22 January 2010
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Says Developing Countries Have Special Understanding of Haiti’s

Challenges; Hopes Their Continued Support Can Aid Recovery, in New York Remarks

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to a ceremony marking the handover of the Group of 77 Chairmanship in New York, 22 January:

I am pleased to join you for the handover ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 (G-77). 

I commend the Republic of Sudan for its leadership of the G-77 during the past year, which was characterized -- especially for the developing world -- by the continuing effects of the financial and economic crises.

I commend Ambassador Abdalmahmood Mohamad of Sudan for his active leadership during the last year.  Today, the Republic of Yemen takes over the critical role of articulating the Group’s interests and views.  I congratulate Yemen and Foreign Minister [Abubakr A.] Al-Qirbi on assuming the Chairmanship and offer my best wishes for success in the year ahead.

Ten days after the earthquake in Haiti, we are all still struggling to come to terms with the devastation it caused to that country, and to our mission there.

On my visit to the island last Sunday, I witnessed scenes that I will never forget.  The Haitian people are suffering on a scale that is hard to imagine.

Thanks to the efforts of thousands of people, help has started to reach them.

Haiti was making important gains on the road towards stability and development when the disaster struck.

Now, its basic infrastructure, and its fledgling public services and institutions, have been destroyed.

Haiti is beginning all over again.  It is going to need the support and help of the international community for a long time.

As a group of developing countries, you have a special understanding of the challenges Haiti is facing.

I am counting on your continued support and expertise to help Haiti to recover and rebuild.  We must work together on this, as we must on so many of the global problems we face.

The G-77 and China represent the majority of United Nations Member States.  Your members range from the poorest nations to emerging middle-income countries with growing influence.  Your concerns drive the work of the United Nations on many fronts, but particularly on development, as a means of achieving lasting peace and stability and advancing human rights.

As you know, we will convene a summit on the Millennium Development Goals in September.  We must make 2010 a year of sustainable development -- to meet the Millennium Development Goals, to address climate change, to promote global health and to take the necessary steps for lasting and robust economic recovery.

To do this, we must mobilize the United Nations family and our partners.  The G-77 has a special role to play in this campaign.  I will issue a report in March containing my assessment of the gaps and needs. 

This year also offers opportunities to make significant progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Last year, Member States agreed to establish a new gender equality entity.  This year, we must build it up and appoint a dynamic leader for it.  We must also push forward with our campaign to prevent violence against women and girls.

And we must complete negotiations on climate change.  Last month’s Copenhagen conference marked an important step forward.  But it left unfinished business, which we need to finish.

We must proceed quickly and effectively, to maintain momentum.

World leaders have become engaged in the debate and are determined to move the process forward.  I will work with them, and trust that they will lend their strongest support to Mexico, as it assumes leadership of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiating process.

I will do all I can to improve the efficiency and transparency of the negotiations, to ensure that all voices are heard and heeded, and that the agreed outcome in Mexico will enjoy the support of all Member States.

We must also make sure that the important commitments to fast-track and long-term finance made in Copenhagen are realized as soon as possible.

That is why I intend to establish a high-level panel on climate financing.  I count on your support for these measures and look forward to cooperating fully with the G-77 and China in the run-up to the meeting in Mexico.

Meeting the challenges of development requires collective action.  Your Group has always maintained that such action should be based on inclusive multilateralism, centred on the United Nations. 

I encourage those countries that are members of other multilateral groups to reflect on their respective roles in these groups, and to ensure that they are mutually compatible.

New approaches should not divert Member States from pursuing our common goals.  Nor should they take you away from the path of effective multilateral action.

For my part, I will continue my efforts to strengthen the United Nations and improve system-wide coherence.  The G-77 and China play an indispensable role in this effort and in achieving our shared goals.  I will rely on our solid relationship as we work together to build a stronger Organization and a better world for all.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.