Ambassador Raymond O. Wolfe
Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the
on the occasion of the Handover of the Chairmanship
of the Group of 77 and China
12 January, 2011
I wish to convey hearty congratulations to the Government of Yemen for having steered the G77 and China so ably and astutely throughout the last year. We recognise, and wish to register our appreciation for, the dedication and high level of professionalism which was exhibited by Ambassador Abdullah Alsaidi, and his delegation, in representing the interest of the Group of 77 and China, despite the constraints with which we are all familiar as developing countries. During its tenure, Yemen has certainly made a significant contribution to the advancement of the multilateral approach to tackling the myriad development-related challenges which we face in the current global political economy.
The last few years have been particularly challenging for the countries of the South, which have had to find innovative means of dealing with a range of crises, including the global economic and financial crisis, the food crisis and challenges posed by the volatility of world energy prices and failure to make good on commitments aimed at securing internationally agreed development goals. The impact of these crises has been exacerbated by the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters including hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Though these challenges were daunting, the G77 and China has served as a mechanism for articulating the shared interests of developing countries, irrespective of size, and harnessing our resolve to find multilateral solutions to these far-reaching global problems. As developing countries, we must continue to use the G77 and China as a vehicle for ensuring that our concerns remain central to the global agenda and for ensuring that the United Nations remains a place where all voices are heard.
The G77 and China has evolved significantly over the years and now encompasses more than one hundred and thirty countries at varying levels of development. Included among these countries are some of the fastest growing economies, several of whom have earned a seat at the table in institutions such as the G20 which play a significant role in global economic governance. Also included within the G77 family are small, vulnerable economies whose voices are less readily heard on the international stage. We view this diversity within the G77 and China as a strength and not a weakness, and are encouraged by the fact that, at the very least, it provides an opportunity for member states to become aware of the peculiar challenges which are faced by the most vulnerable among us.
We stand on the cusp of another year, aware of the full agenda before us. Indeed, while the worst of the aforementioned crises is behind us, we are called upon to work together to address the fundamental structural weaknesses and imbalances in the global financial architecture, and in so doing, make it possible for a greater number of developing countries to move towards development which is sustainable.
We heartily congratulate the Government of Argentina, as a fellow member of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states on assuming the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. We are confident that the delegation of Argentina is more than equal to the task of guiding the G77 and China in a manner which ensures that the development concerns of its member states continue to be accorded the priority they deserve on the United Nations agenda. They can count on Jamaica’s continued support in their endeavours.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.