26 January 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Eshagh Alhabib
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
on the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China
(New York, 26 January 2010)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The devastating earthquake in Haiti left us with grave sorrow and grief; we express our deepest sympathies to the government and people of Haiti. We also pay tribute to those UN personnel who lost their lives while serving the noble cause of promoting peace and stability.
At the outset, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations and full-fledged support to the distinguished delegation of Yemen for assumption of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for the year 2010. We are confident that under the able and wise leadership of H.E. Ambassador Abdullah Alsaeidi unity and solidarity of the group will be further strengthened.
I cannot continue before paying tribute to the excellent work and stewardship of Sudan, H.E. Abdulmahmood Abdulhalim and his dedicated hard-working team as the outgoing Chair during the past year; a year overloaded with major events and the difficult negotiations. It was a difficult year, a trying challenge. However, the sweetness of the outcomes pale the difficulties and moments of hardship faced along the way.
The biggest challenge the G77 and China as the sole universal voice of the South faces today is directly linked to the undesirable positioning of the South in the global arena: endemic and pervasive poverty and hunger and increasing marginalization on the ground, on the one hand; and peripheral role and weight in the international, multilateral arena on the other.
In several occasions last year, unity and effectiveness of the Group were put to test and it would be certainly the same this year and the coming years.
Form the last June Conference on economic and Financial Crisis to the last December high-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (negotiations of which happened to be co-chaired by distinguished PR of Yemen) and COP 15 of UNFCCC and to the hefty workload of the Second Committee, we observed our strengths as well as our weaknesses. This year would not be definitely less demanding. The September MDG event and the follow up on climate change and system-wide coherence negotiations are only a few to mention.
I would like, however, to highlight the point of strength of the Group; its unity and solidarity. In our view, respect for the unity and solidarity of the Group is a fundamental principle for the entire membership and its preservation and strengthening is incumbent upon all of us. It lies at the very heart of all our activities. It has been rightly and duly emphasized in all our documents from the very inception of the Group, including in the Declarations of the South Summits.
The very future of the Group of 77 and its successful pursuit of the long-term interests of its members, big and small, depend on sincere and faithful respect for openness, constructive contribution and the time-honoured tradition of consensus as the fundamental overarching working principles of the Group.
There is little doubt that it has become all the more imperative in this age of uncertainties, when, among others, multilateralism is embattled and instead unilateralism and at best bilateralism are thriving.
We believe a united, solid, dynamic and proactive Group of 77 and China is what we should all strive for. The enormous potentials of the developing South may only be harnessed through unity and solidarity towards achieving a more solid negotiating position at the global table we share with the developed North.
Thank you very much.