His Excellency Mr. Raymond Wolfe
Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations on the Occasion of the Handing Over of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China
23 January 2009
On behalf of the Government of Jamaica, it is my distinct pleasure to convey heartiest commendation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for the excellent guidance and leadership of the Group of 77 and China in 2008. As a member of CARICOM and a fellow small island developing state, we are indeed proud of the dedication, commitment and professionalism shown by your delegation in representing the interests of the Group, which is testimony to the fact that size does not determine output or quality and that small states continue to make significant contribution in multilateral affairs.
Antigua and Barbuda assumed the chairmanship of the G77 at an inauspicious period in global affairs; a period characterized by volatility and uncertainty, soaring food and energy prices, turmoil in global financial markets, the increasing deleterious impact of climate change, woeful lack of implementation of commitments for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals and myriad other complex and daunting challenges which have had an adverse impact on the economic prospects of developing countries. Without doubt, the Antiguan delegation must be commended for its sterling efforts in ensuring that development was accorded priority on the United Nations’ agenda.
We had a packed agenda in 2008 where a number of meetings and events of critical importance occupied our attention including UNCTAD XII, Climate change and of course, the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development. The fact that the delegation of Antigua and Barbuda managed to coalesce the diverse positions of the Group of 77 on these and other issues on which it has traditionally been difficult to achieve consensus within the Group, is testimony to their skillful and astute leadership.
It is envisaged that 2009 will be no less challenging. In fact, perhaps more so. As the world grapples with the ongoing global financial crisis and a looming recession this year, a firm foundation has been laid for the Government of Sudan to consolidate the gains achieved over the past year. It is critical that the Group unite in its common purpose to realise the goals and aspirations of developing countries. Under the leadership of Sudan, Jamaica will continue to collaborate to advance the interests of the South.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.