STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MOHAMED FATHI AHMED EDREES, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, BEFORE THE PLENARY OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE INTRODUCTION OF THE DRAFT RESOLUTION A/73/L.5 ENTITLED "CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77 FOR 2019" (New York, 16 October 2018)
Since its inception, the Group of 77 has been championing multilateralism and global solidarity as among the key means for fostering cooperative and harmonious relations towards the achievement of equity, equality and prosperity for all. On this basis, we have strived to promote developing countries' collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues within the United Nations system and have effectively contributed to international cooperation on these many issues.
As we have stressed before, the legacy of the Group of 77 is inextricable from that of the United Nations. It would be no exaggeration to state and to remind ourselves that so much of what the United Nations has achieved in this past half century in the development sphere has been in one way or another inspired, founded, shaped, and supported towards fruition through the aid of the Group of 77.
On 27 September 2018, the Group of 77 elected the State of Palestine as Chair for the year 2019, following the Asia-Pacific Group's endorsement of its candidature in November 2017.
While the State of Palestine has been a full-fledged member of the Group of 77 since January 1976, Palestine remains a non-member observer State of the UN. Therefore, the rights and privileges enjoyed by the State of Palestine vary from one UN organ to the other, based on the respective rules of procedure, resolutions adopted by these organs and their established practice.
In that context, following consultations with the UN secretariat, it is the assessment that a General Assembly resolution would be required to avail the State of Palestine the rights and capacity required to be able to perform the functions and the usual practices undertaken by the Chair of G77 in the General Assembly, other organs, entities and certain Conferences for the duration of its chairmanship of the G77 in the year 2019, thus enabling its effective chairmanship and the continuity of the positive role played by the Group within the UN system.
The Group of 77 and China is therefore presenting today the draft resolution entitled "Chair of the Group of 77 for 2019", as contained in document A/73/L.5. The above-mentioned rights are enumerated in its annex. The adoption of this draft, which we consider technical and procedural in nature, will enable the next Chair of the Group to effectively fulfill his duties and responsibilities towards the Group as well as the wider membership during the year 2019, without prejudice to the existing rights and privileges of the State of Palestine, as per the relevant resolutions.
On behalf of the G77 and China, I invite all Member States to positively consider the draft now before you, taking into consideration its technical nature yet importance to the work of the Group, and noting as well that we, in our capacity as Chair of the Group, and the State of Palestine, were engaged in this process in full transparency within the Group and the wider membership with a view to enabling a smooth transition and the continued efficacy of the Group's work in the coming year.
Thank you Madame President.