G-77 and China Statement on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Group - 15th June 2004, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, PR of Algeria

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of IAEA and our guest of honour,
Ambassador Wolfgang Hofmann, Executive Secretary of CTBTO,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me a great pleasure to address you, as Chairperson of the G-77 and China, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Group and hereby pay tribute to the founding fathers.

The G-77 was established on 15th June 1964, when 77 developing countries issued a Joint Declaration during the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development held in Geneva. The Joint Declaration summarizes the raison d'être of the Group and sets out the members' common objectives in the field of trade, economic and development. The birth of the Group is one of the most significant political phenomenon of mid 20th century. For the first time, the marginalized nations found a common voice in defending their interests and promoting greater equity and justice in international relations.

The G-77 adopted its Charter on the occasion of its first Ministerial Meeting held in Algiers, Algeria on 25 October 1967, and subsequently developed its institutional structure, which led to the creation of Chapters of the Group in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Washington DC. In Vienna, although the Group has been functioning before, the Office of the Vienna Chapter kindly provided by Mr. Carlos Magarinos, the Director General of UNIDO, was formally inaugurated on 19 May 1998. The Chapter covers all the VIC-based organizations, namely: UNIDO, IAEA, UNOV, and the preparatory Commission for CTBT.

In each chapter, a Chairman who acts as its spokesperson coordinates the work of the Group. The chairmanship rotates on a regional basis. The Office of the Chairman provides support for the preparation of meetings and serves as its institutional memory. The Group elaborates joint declarations, action programs and agreements on specific topics and also makes statements, sponsors and negotiates resolutions and decisions at global conferences and other meetings held under the aegis of the UN.

Today, the membership of the Group has reached 132 countries, but the original name has been maintained for its historic significance. Also, we now have China associated with the Group. Why G-77 and China?

Although not a formal member of the G-77, China has been a supporter of the Group's positions and has maintained close relations with the Group. The association between the G-77 and China started in connection with the preparations for the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in June 1992. For the first time, the two sides jointly put forward a position paper in the name of G-77 and China. From then on, the form of cooperation and the working relationship between the G-77 and China has grown from strength to strength.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our untiring efforts notwithstanding, it is evident today that we are yet to fully realize the agenda of our founding fathers. Redressing imbalances, eliminating poverty and assuring peace and stability are outstanding challenges which are common and shared responsibility. The G-77 and China remains committed to strengthening and revitalizing the multilateral system, particularly international cooperation, as a better mechanism for an equitable decision making process, in order to achieve socio-economic development of the developing world.

To this end, members of the Group are making their utmost efforts towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, which are those of the international community. This shared responsibility requires innovative approaches and political impetus to make international cooperation as a "decisive instrument for ending the division of the world into areas of affluence and intolerable poverty". The Group, therefore, urges the implementation of the commitments made at Monterrey, Mexico, the industrialization of developing countries, the prevention and fighting of terrorism, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering, peaceful use of outer space, as well as transfer of technology in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful uses.

In commemorating its fortieth anniversary, the Group attests to its vitality and the cohesion of its members. We rest on the clarity of our vision and unity in the implementation of the Action Plan adopted at the first South-South Summit in Havana, Cuba in 2000, and the High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation held in Marrakech, Morocco in 2003.

Forty years after the establishment of the Group, we the members of the Vienna Chapter, inspired by the spirit of Vienna, pledge to maintain and further strengthen our unity as well as our cooperation with our development partners.

I thank you for celebrating with us the anniversary of our Group and invite you later in this programme to share the cultural displays as well as the culinary specialties and varieties of our respective countries. Health, prosperity and success for the G-77 and China!!!!

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