At a ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, the Group of 77 and China (G77/China) handed over the chairmanship of its group from the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the Republic of South Africa.
8 January 2015: At a ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, the Group of 77 and China (G77/China) handed over the chairmanship of its group from the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the Republic of South Africa.
Taking place on 8 January 2015, the ceremony concluded Bolivia’s year as Chair of the Group. Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma addressed ambassadors at the ceremony, saying that it had been an honor for the people of Bolivia to hold the responsibility as Chair. He presented the outcomes of the July 2014 Summit of Heads of State and Governments, held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which produced the declaration titled ‘For a new world order for living well.’ Morales highlighted a renewed commitment between developing countries to work together, while saying that they all agree with developed countries on striving for “the basic right to peace.”
Luwellyn Landers, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa, accepted the responsibility of Chair at the ceremony. He affirmed South Africa’s commitment to “collectively enhance the development agenda of the South,” highlighting priorities such as South-South cooperation, addressing the debt burden, and assistance in adaptation to climate change.
On the post-2015 development agenda, Landers said that the Group will “remain steadfast in promoting the interests of developing countries,” including: the full achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the importance of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR); and the creation of a strengthened global partnership that supports means of implementation. “This group remains all the more relevant, specifically at this important juncture when the international community is considering our development aspirations,” Landers declared, adding that “it is the most powerful when it is the most united.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Bolivia for its commitment to forging consensus and spurring progress on a number of issues. Ban recognized the G77/China’s “proud history” of advocating for development, and called on the Group to engage civil society and stakeholders in UN development discussions. He said that the launch of the post-2015 development agenda will require a “fundamental shift in mindset” about the legal and institutional dimensions of stakeholder engagement and political leadership, and called on the Group to be the prime leaders of this change.
In an interactive session with Member States, chaired by Maria Cristina Perceval, Permanent Representative of Argentina and Acting President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), speakers welcomed the South African Chairmanship and assured their continued support for the Group, while highlighting priorities for the year ahead. [South Africa Press Release] [Acting President of UNGA Statement] [Publication: Declaration of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77: For a new world order for living well]