Excellencies, distinguished delegates, all protocol observed,
I want to start by deeply thanking the State of Palestine for its skilful efforts in guiding the work of the Group of 77 and China over the past 12 months.
At the handover ceremony last year, President Abbas stated that Palestine assumes the position with “humility, commitment, dedication and determination to uphold and defend the interests of the Group and to strengthen the positions of its members in the United Nations.”
We are all keenly aware of the geographical disadvantages faced by the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries.
Many are in remote locations and by definition, they do not have access to the sea; and other forms of connectivity -- roads, railways, the information superhighway -- are also lacking or underdeveloped.
It is a pleasure to be here with you at this inaugural meeting of the Group of Friends on Digital Technologies. I thank the Permanent Missions of Mexico, Finland and Singapore for this important, and even essential, initiative.
New technologies, and particularly digital technologies, are already having a major impact on the world, affecting all our work on international peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media thank you very much for your presence.
I want first of all to express my gratitude to the government and people Thailand for their extremely warm hospitality.
I want to say that I am extremely happy with the UN ASEAN summit that had just finished. Two years ago, I asked for a quantum leap in relations between ASEAN and the UN and we can, today, verify that that a quantum leap happened.