Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Chairman

Chairmanship to be handed over from Iran
to Venezuela

UNITED NATIONS (10 January 2002) – Ambassador Bagher Asadi of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chairman of the Group of Seventy-Seven (G-77)for the year 2001, announced today, in a press release, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York that the turn-over ceremony of the Group’s chairmanship for the year 2002 will take place on Friday, 11 January 2002. He said that the chairmanship of the Group of 77, which is the sole universal representative of the developing world in pursuit of development, and rotates annually between the three continents of Africa, Asia and the Latin America and the Caribbean, will be handed over at the Friday ceremony by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The G-77 Chairman, emphasizing the importance of the traditional practice of the Group for the transfer of one-year chairmanship, announced that Dr. Kamal Kharrazi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and himself will represent Iran - the outgoing Chair - at the turnover meeting. Venezuela, the incoming Chair, will be represented by President Hugo Chavez Frias, Foreign Minister Alfonso Davila and Ambassador Milos Alcalay. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UNDP Administrator, Mark Malloch Brown, will also attend the ceremony.

According to Ambassador Asadi, the Friday cremony, open to the entire membership of the Group of 77 and China and to the press, will be opened by Foreign Minister Kharrazi, who will make a farewell statement on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He will subsequently hand over the gavel to the Venezuelan President. The meeting will then continue under the chairmanship of President Chavez, who will make a statement, to be followed by the statements of the Secretary-General and the Administrator. Other statements by representatives of the regional groups and members of G-77 will follow.

The Chairman of the Group of 77 expressed his personal satisfaction with the activities and achievements of the Group during the year 2001 and indicated that his Foreign Minister will reflect in detail in his statement on Friday on Iran’s experience in chairing the Group. He also added that as a result of a year-long intensive activities of the Group of 77 in various multilateral processes in New York and elsewhere, the Group now enjoys a much stronger position and negotiating clout. He expressed confidence that this positive trend will be continued during the Venezuelan term of office.


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