12 January 2015
South Africa has assumed the chair of the largest coalition of developing countries in the UN, the Group of 77 (G77).
The G77 provides the means for the countries of the south to articulate and promote their collective economic interests, and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues in the UN’s system.
The body also promotes south-south co-operation and strengthens economic and technical co-operation among developing countries themselves.
Accepting the responsibility of chairing the G77, the deputy minister of international relations and co-operation (Dirco), Luwellyn Landers, thanked the members of the G77 for placing their trust and confidence in South Africa.
Landers also paid a special tribute to Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma, for Bolivia’s stewardship of the G77 and China during 2014.
He said South Africa would “spare no effort in continuing Bolivia’s legacy by ensuring that we collectively enhance the development agenda of the south”.
South Africa will chair the G77 during the 70th anniversary of the UN at a crucial juncture in the global community’s efforts to agree on the development priorities and goals needed to take the work of the Millennium Development Goals forward and to transform development beyond 2015.
This year is also a critically important year for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a new legal instrument that contains commitments for both developed and developing countries is expected to be adopted under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
During its term, South Africa will be responsible for negotiating and speaking on behalf of two-thirds of the UN membership on key development issues.
“After 50 distinguished years, the G77 remains all the more relevant, specifically at this important juncture when the international community is considering our collective development aspirations beyond 2015,” said Landers.