Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, reviewed in a speech on Tuesday the work of the Group of 77 (G77) and China during the past year, and the priorities it addressed throughout Egypt’s presidency.
Shoukry delivered the opening speech before the G77 and China during the handover of the group’s presidency from Egypt to Palestine, in the presence of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the General Assembly, Maria Espinosa, and the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in New York.
The minister pointed out that 2018 made a major difference to the UN’s reform efforts in various fields, adding that the pace of reform, as well as the proposals made in this regard were exceptional.
Shoukry added, “The group’s leading role in guiding reforms was undertaken in a way which would achieve the desired effectiveness of the UN’s developmental agenda.”
Throughout his speech, Shoukry explained that during the past year, the group was able to provide a clear vision in order to reform the UN’s developmental system, noting that the vision was mainly based on the national ownership of each country’s growth priorities.
Moreover, Shoukry highlighted, “The G77 exerted tremendous efforts in order to reinforce the organisation’s ability to deal with challenges related to peace and security, especially through developing preventive diplomacy, which addresses the roots of conflicts, and enhances the cooperation with regional organisations.”
Egypt’s presidency of the G77 and China over the past years was its third time in history, and was an extension for the pioneering role played by Egypt, at the level of developing countries.
Palestine formally assumed the chairpersonship for the year 2019, following Egypt, which chaired the group in 2018.
The group was the largest negotiating forum on behalf of developing countries within the UN, which aimed to strengthen the economic and developmental interests of these states.
The name ‘The Group of 77 and China’ came as the group was initially formed by 77 founding members of the UN, while China participates but is not a member. The number of participating member states expanded to 134 by November 2013. The coalition aims to promote its members’ collective economic interests.