Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Antonio García, Permanent Representative of Peru, Chairman of the G-77, delivered during the G-77 Plenary Meeting on 4 September 2012

Distinguished friends and colleagues,

Let me first thank all of you for being here this morning, I also wish to particularly welcome the many new Ambassadors and colleagues, who have arrived in the last few weeks and joined us this morning. I look forward to working closely with you and assure you of our cooperation and solidarity.

I wish to make a quick overview and assessment of the work undertaken during the last 8 months of this year.

After our last G-77 Plenary of 19 January, the Group has been very active under my leadership. The regular contact and meetings with the G-77 Task Force Coordinators and briefing sessions on particular issues with the relevant Secretariats, as well as consultations, with other regional groups enhanced my approach.

There is a need to strengthen the political message and the positions of our Group through a more focused and less technical approach. In my view, positions should be delivered and our proposals should be the heart of our interventions.

As already announced in my statement at the beginning of my tenure, I have engaged in broad consultations with delegations.

I wish to flag a few specific points, which emphasize on the work achieved so far during the first semester of 2012.

On IAEA matters, first of all I wish to thank the Task Force Coordinator, Ms. Heba Negm from the Embassy of Egypt for her commitment and outstanding work as G-77 Task Force Coordinator and wish her all the best for her future endeavors. My collaborator Mr. Bernardo Roca-Rey will take over as Task Force Coordinator for the rest of the year.

As far as the work of the Group on IAEA matters is concerned, it has been the first time that the Group was able to deliver a common statement on Nuclear Safety during the last June Board. Furthermore, specific briefings have been organized by the Secretariat for the Group, which were very well attended and received by delegations. It is therefore of utmost importance that the high level of attendance during the Group meetings be maintained and delegations continue to participate actively in the process. This is of particular importance during the forthcoming IAEA General Conference, where we will have to stay united and powerful in the negotiation process of the resolutions brought forward by our Group.

On UNODC matters, I wish to thank Ms. Julia Villatoro for her dedication and exceptional work carried out during the last six month and also wish her all the best in her work ahead as Task Force Chair of GRULAC and welcome Ms. Mila Francisco from Chile in this task.

The Group has elaborated a Non-paper on the Proposal for the Organization of the round table discussions at the 56th period of sessions of the CND. The Group engaged in a very constructive dialogue with other regional groups and received briefings by the Secretariat. Furthermore, the Group held informal informals which facilitated the negotiation process and the adoption of draft resolutions in the Commissions.

In this context, I also wish to underline the importance of coherence and unity of our Group and look forward in further strengthening the negotiating process, especially when the Group comes up with common positions and resolutions. An active participation and commitment in the Task Force meetings is fundamental and delegations should not delay the negotiating process.

I wish to express my appreciation to my dear colleague Ambassador Maria Laose of Nigeria as co-chair of FINGOV and encourage her to continue to defend the G-77 principles in the ongoing working group.

I wish to thank the UNIDO Task Force Coordinator, Ms. Jeanne Mrad from Lebanon for her dedication and hard work and would like to report that the Group's dialogue with Director General Yumkella resulted in the nomination of representatives of regional groups for the Multilateral Diplomatic Committee, implementing UNIDO General Conference Resolution 14/7. Until today, nominations were received by GRULAC (Argentina & Ecuador) and by the Asian Pacific Group (Iran & Sri Lanka). I am sure that the African Group is undergoing consultations in this respect.

The highlight item on the agenda of the Task Force for the first part of the year was the "Working Group on the future of UNIDO", which is Co-Chaired by Ambassador Dengo of Costa Rica. The work of this Working Group will remain a standing item until 2013.

As a biannual practice, in the next few weeks the Group will elaborate a draft resolution for submission to the General Assembly on the "Industrial Development Cooperation", which will be forwarded to the G-77 Chapter in New York for onward submission to the General Assembly.

Even though these procedures take place mostly in New York, during the debates of the Second Committee, it is important that the outcomes of the discussions on this issues in UNIDO should be taken into consideration as a contribution to this process.

The election of the Director-General of UNIDO is foreseen for 2013.

The excellent work carried out by the Task Force Coordinator, Ms. Ilse Adonis from South Africa deserves also a special mention and the achievements obtained as far as CTBTO matters are concerned, are relevant. The Group's statements became more focused and targeted at addressing the key issues and getting the message across in shorter statements.

The dialogue between the Secretariat and the Group has taken place through briefings to the Group but this could still be improved. The Group drove the process that led to the adoption of the draft proposal for the Amendment of the Rules of Procedure for the Appointment of the next Executive Secretary, which was facilitated by the Ambassador of Malaysia.

There are still issues where concerns persist within the Group, such as the low attendance of Task Force meetings, this is of concern, as inputs into the statements depend on a few delegations only, and might not reflect the Groups interests as a collective. The low attendance has also been noted during briefings organized with the Secretariat and might send the wrong message as to our interest in the Organization.

The process for the election of the next Executive Secretary will start during the course of this week and is of key significance to the Group. It is the fact that currently 4 out of the 5 candidates are from different regional groups within our Group. The position of Executive Secretary is of strategic importance to the Group, as this position has always been occupied by a representative from a developed country.

Whatever the end result of the consultations may be, the Group should stand united so that one of our four candidates gets elected to the position.

I now open the floor and give you the opportunity to ask me or my Task Force coordinators any particular question you may have.

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