G-77 shares common goals with U.N.'s agenda

UNITED NATIONS, January - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that over the last three decades, the Group of 77 have worked tirelessly to pursue the cause of economic development.

"By their very nature, the Group of 77 and the United nations walk side by side. We share a common understanding: that promotion of development lies at the heart of the Organisation," he told an meeting of the G-77.

The meeting was held to formally transfer the chairmanship of the G-77 from Tanzania to Indonesia. Among those present at the meeting were the Tanzanian Foreign Minister Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and the Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.

"Your membership represents the aspirations of the majority of the world's people. Your commitment to the goals of development has been instrumental in giving shape and substance to international cooperation and to the work of the United Nations," he added.

The Secretary-General also pointed out that the United Nations and the G-77 share a common vision: to offer people economic opportunity and hope. "Let us now share a common mission: to give our joint efforts impact and meaning."

As part of the reform of the United Nations, he said, he is establishing a new Office for Development Financing and also a strong consolidated economic and social department at Headquarters.

He said he has also freed up resources to create a "development dividend" and given greater opportunities for UNCTAD to contribute to deliberations at headquarters.
"None of this would have been possible without the steadfast cooperation and strong support of the Group of 77, in particular under the able leadership of Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago of Tanzania," he added.

"But our successes do not blind me to the work that remains. One of the biggest challenges still lies before us: reviving the political will for international cooperation and development," he concluded.