FILE - Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry- Press photo FILE - Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry- Press photo

Shoukry heads to New York for G77 chairmanship handover

Mon, Jan. 14, 2019
CAIRO – 13 January 2019: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will head Monday to New York to attend the handover of chairmanship of the Group 77 and China to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestine formally assumed the chairmanship for the year 2019, following Egypt, which chaired the group for 2018.

During the session set to be held on Jan.15, Shoukry is expected to give an opening speech, in the presence of President Abbas, President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 73rd session María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterich.

Ahmed Hafez, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that Egypt’s heading of the group for the third time last year came as an extension of Egypt’s pioneering role among developing countries, and its belief in the values upon which the group is based.

“The group is the largest negotiating forum of developing countries within the United Nations, aimed at enhancing the economic and developmental interests of these countries,” added Hafez.

Egypt has led the the group for three non-consecutive periods during the years:1972, 1984 and 2018.

During its charimanship, Egypt defended interests of developing states per its needs and priorities in different economic, social and environmental fields to advance the aspirations of the states of the group and achieve a more just and representative international order, especially in light of the reform phase of the United Nations, said the spokesperson in an official statement Sunday, Jan. 13.

The spokesperson concluded his statement, saying that the foreign minister will hold bilateral meetings with a number of senior UN officials during his visit to New York.

The name “The Group of 77 and China” came as the group was initially formed by 77 founding members of the UN organization in 1964, while China participates but is not a member. The number of the participating member states has expanded to 134 members by November 2013. they convened for the first time in Algiers in October 1967. The G77/China members increased to 134 countries; but the original name remains for its historic significance. The coalition aims to promote its members’ collective economic interests.

Egypt could help achieve the interests of the Arab group in bringing about sustainable development and ensuring food, water and energy security, in addition to combating poverty, the statement read.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, stressed earlier that Egypt’s presidency over the G-77/China will increase the importance of Cairo’s roll in adopting a unified stance of the developing states on the issues of climate change and the UN’s development and administrative reform pathways.
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