our Excellency, the Honorable Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and Chairman of G-77 and China, Mr. Winston Baldwin Spencer,
Your Excellency, Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon,
Your Excellency, President of the General Assembly, Mr. Srgjan Kerim
Representatives of various United Nations bodies and organizations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
My delegation would first of all like to pay tribute to the Government of Pakistan, and its representation in New York, headed by Ambassador Munir Akram, for their skillful manner in which they guided the affairs of this Organization throughout 2007.
We would like to warmly welcome Antigua and Barbuda as they assume today the responsibility to continue advancing the development agenda of developing countries at the helm of the G-77 and China for 2008.
We are confident that Antigua & Barbuda will live up to the expectation to leading the group in unity and solidarity in addressing issues of critical concern to developing countries.
The challenges for developing countries to achieve sustainable economic and social development remain daunting. If we are to share in the benefits of global wealth and progress we have no choice than to continue our cooperation as a strong unified force towards advancing the interests of developing countries.
As the grouping with the largest membership in the United Nations we will have to make certain that our voice is always being heard and that the issues that are dear to our heart are adequately addressed in international forums.
In closing Mr. Chairman I would like to note that my delegation very much looks forward to working with you and the other members of the G-77&China and let me assure you of our continued support as we collectively endeavor to work towards universal growth and truly making the right to development a reality for all and especially for developing countries.
I thank you.