(Geneva, 15 September 2010)

Mr. Chairman, H.E. Mr. Luis Manuel Piantini,
Permanente Representative of the Dominican Republic
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD,
Distinguished Colleagues,

1. Allow me at the outset on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to congratulate you and the Bureau on your election. Lo felicitamos y le deseamos éxitos. Rest assured of our support and commitment to the successful accomplishment of the work before us at this regular session of the Board, and with regard to our work in the year ahead.

2. I want to specially thank Ambassador Jean Feyder for his excellent work during his chairmanship of this body. Ambassador Feyder has shown that his thought and his actions are committed with the poor of the work, and this attitude deserves respect and recognition. With his guidance and leadership, the Trade and Development Board achieved successful outcomes. Encore une fois du fond du Cœur, merci beaucoup Ambassadeur Feyder.

3. This will be an important session of the Board, coming as it does in the midst of the continuing global financial and economic crisis. It also has special importance in view of the review of the implementation of the Accra Accord in the week ahead, and the preparations for UNCTAD XIII which will commence in a few months.

4. For the Group, therefore, at least three key objectives must be realized during the course of our deliberations in the coming two weeks.

5. We must address what the global financial and economic crisis fully revealed: that the global economy is far more interdependent and interlinked than we fully appreciated at the time of Accra. The crisis underscored that many of the challenges facing developing countries are now also shared by developed countries. Restoring the health and vitality of the global economy and preventing future crises is therefore a global mutual interest and objective. We must bear this principle in mind as we review the implementation of the Accra Accord.

6. We therefore need to learn and apply the lessons learned from the global economic and financial crisis and place development at the center of the global economic system, as this will contribute to sustained global recovery and long-term prosperity for all. We must therefore work towards reforming the global economic architecture accordingly.

7. As a consequence, we must build consensus on new approaches to development which place at their core the economic fundamentals of all countries, especially developing countries. This includes focusing on building productive capacities and generating employment.
Mr. President.

8. The Group is encouraged that the format for this session of the Board focuses on an interactive exchange of views and ideas. I will therefore limit my statement to only a few specific points. We will make specific and interactive comments at the appropriate point in our deliberations. Allow me therefore to focus in this statement on a few issues of special and cross-cutting importance for the Group.

9. First, we reiterate that UNCTAD is, and continues to be, an institution of special importance to developing countries. Of key significance to the Group is advancing consensus on key issues on the global economic agenda, with an emphasis on those of particular interest to developing countries. This is especially critical as we look forward to preparations for UNCTAD XIII, during which we will enter into negotiations on substantive issues which are not normally negotiated in the inter-sessional period. We must get used to the fact that negotiations need not be difficult if we enter into them with an open mind and a willingness to arrive at a conclusion which is satisfactory to all.

10. In this regard, it is important to recall that many of the issues which were difficult or contentious in the preparations for Accra are now a matter of frank, open, and constructive dialogue. For example, systemic issues were - and in the UNCTAD context continue to be - controversial. Yet we all agree that something is fundamentally wrong. We have the global economic and financial crisis as proof that something must be done, and that indeed something is being done. UNCTAD must therefore be better equipped in terms of resources and the political will of the intergovernmental machinery to continue doing what it has always done well.

11. Second, we look forward to the Accra Accord implementation review next week, where we hope we will have a fruitful and constructive exchange of views with our development partners, with the aim of further strengthening UNCTAD. We expect that the resulting negotiated outcome will be to the satisfaction of all partners, and provide an additional impetus for the full and successful implementation of the Accra Accord.

12. UNCTAD has also shown itself to respond well to emerging issues and crises - the global financial and economic crisis, the food crisis, being some concrete examples. During our deliberations in the AAIR we should also focus on how we can further enhance this important capability of the secretariat, and how it can best be harnessed by the intergovernmental machinery in order to better contribute to the broader development discourse.

13. We also hope that our forthcoming work will further strengthen the prevailing positive climate, and consequently contribute positively to the preparations for the next conference.

14. This underscores the importance of ensuring the continued and effective work of the organization in the remaining two years of the Accra Accord. We look for a further strengthening of the work to benefit developing countries, especially the weakest and most vulnerable, LDCs and Africa. In this context, we look to an effective contribution to the preparations for LDC IV, as well as to the follow-up and implementation of the various conferences and summits on development.

15. This leads me to the final point: that we must actively work to make our contribution to the long-term development of the global development agenda. It is clear that the UNCTAD XIII has important implications for the broader work of the global community in eradicating the world's poverty.

16. Thanks to UNCTAD's unique combination of intellectual and other resources through the three pillars, we must make a specific and deep contribution to the accomplishment of our development goals and objectives. As we agreed in the Accra Accord, UNCTAD will, "With all aspects of its work…help implement the global development agenda and pave the way to 2015."

17. This is an important task before us, and an ambitious one. The Group of 77 and China is confident that the UNCTAD secretariat has the analytical capacity to assist the consensus building pillar to contribute to realizing a momentous year for development in 2015. Today may mark an important initial step in this direction, one in which the Group is committed and focused.

Thank you Mr. President.