Statement by H. E. Dr. ِAbdulrazzak AL-NAFISI, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Kuwait to UNESCO, on the occasion of his assumption of the Chairmanship of the Group 77 and China

(Paris, 3 February 2010)

H. E. Mrs. Sanchez-Bello, Ambassador of Venezuela

Excellencies, Dear Colleagues

I would like to express my great pleasure, on behalf of the Government of Kuwait, to assume the chairmanship of Group 77 and China for the year 2010. I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Arab Group to UNESCO for its support of Kuwait's candidature. My thanks are extended to all the members of the G-77 and China for their endorsement of Kuwait's election to this post. It is a great honor for my country to undertake this important role of representing the Group and defending its interests, and I assure you that I will spare no effort to serve the interests of the Group.

And as I begin this task, I can only express my deepest thanks to H. E. Ambassador of Venezuela for her capable leadership of our Group last year, and special thanks to all members of the Group’s bureau and the secretariat for their notable efforts.

Kuwait views its role in 2010 on the basis of the principles and values upon which our Group was founded. We will do our utmost to promote the unity and solidarity of the G-77 and China, and we will be fully cooperative and accessible to everyone and act on the basis of mutual trust.

Dear Colleagues

The loss of lives and the widespread destruction resulted from the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti last months require our solidarity and support with the people and the Government of Haiti and urgent assistance initiatives from our Group should be explored to help our friends in Haiti in the reconstruction of their country.

This year coincides with several important events such as the International Year of Biodiversity, the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, and the fifteenth anniversary of the World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. It is my hope that the Group will find ways for an efficient participation in such events and I’ll be pleased to receive any suggestions and comments concerning this matter. In addition, we are facing important issues such as the global financial crisis and the effect of climate change on our countries, and we have to work together in expressing our positions concerning these issues for our benefit.

South-South cooperation represents the best form of solidarity among the members of our Group, and three years ago, your Group established four working groups in all fields of competence of UNESCO to promote South-South, as well as North-South, cooperation. However, and due to several reasons, and I should say reasons out of control of the chairpersons and members of some of these groups, the expectations of establishing such working groups were not met yet, except in the field of education, where we achieved satisfactory results so far, and I take this opportunity to thank H.E. Ambassador of India, Chairperson of the working group on South-South cooperation in education and all the members of her group for the excellent work they have done in this area. And with your support, we will make every possible effort to ensure the achievement of the objectives of establishing such working groups.

The cooperation and coordination between Paris Chapter and the other Chapters of Group 77 and China along with the Group of Non-Aligned Movement at UNESCO is very important and should be strengthened, therefore, we will work toward achieving such cooperation and cooperation to further develop and reinforce our common interests.

In conclusion, please allow me to reiterate my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you, and looking forward for a very productive year.

Thank you.