H.E. Mr. Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,
H.E. Mr. Mamadi Touré, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Guineans Living Abroad of the Republic of Guinea,
First and foremost, allow me to avail myself of this opportunity to commend the work carried out, the dedication shown and the leadership executed by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in the performance of the Chairmanship of the G-77 and China during 2020, which enabled to effectively and efficiently lead the Group's work within a context of unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. We sincerely thank Ambassador Carolyn Rodriguez, Permanent Representative of Guyana, and her predecessor, Ambassador Michael Ten-Pow, as well as the entire team that accompanied them in this endeavor. Their leadership and commitment was fundamental so that the G-77 and China could attain many significant and diverse achievements over the past year.
In like manner, we are extraordinarily pleased to welcome H.E. Mamadi Touré, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Guineans Living abroad of the Republic of Guinea in your assumption of the Presidency of the G-77 and China for the 2021 period. We are convinced that under your guidance and that of your Permanent Representative in New York, the Group of 77 will continue to promote and lead the defense of the interests of the countries of the South.
I wish you every success in the discharge of your duties and you can count on Cuba's unrestricted support in your endeavors, and readiness to continue strengthening the historic ties between the Republic of Guinea and Cuba.
Since its establishment, the history of the Group of 77 and China has been intertwined with that of the United Nations. The values and principles endorsed in the "Joint Declaration of the seventy-seven developing countries" of June 15, 1964, have become becoming increasingly valid and continue to guide our Group´s actions.
Within and outside the United Nations, the G-77 has become a stronghold in upholding unity, solidarity, cooperation and the realization of the right to development for our countries, as well as in pursuit of the efforts to achieve a more just and equitable international order.
The G-77 accounts for more than half of the world's population and two-thirds of the UN member states. Our diversity is our strength. It is up to the Group to lead the interests and aspirations of our peoples in today's complex international context, based on a strengthened multilateralism and an enhanced international cooperation and solidarity, including a renewed South-South cooperation among our countries.
Cuba has always upheld the founding principles of the G-77. The Group operates on the basis of consensus, a basic principle that must be maintained. We firmly believe that the current working methods and practices established for the performance of its work are clear and consistent, and must be preserved. They have enabled the G-77 to maintain over time its unity and solidarity.
In 2021, in the light of the complex processes that are drawing close, and taking into account the continuation of the virtual work modes; we will need a stronger, more united, active and supportive G-77, in a staunch defense of its principles and interests.
Among the negotiating priorities that we, as a Group, will face in 2021, we highlight:
- The review process of the Economic and Social Council and the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development;
- The negotiations of the conclusions and recommendations of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development;
- The Ministerial Declaration of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development;
- The Political Declaration and other documents in view of the South Summit, which will take place in Uganda in 2021, when it is decided.
- The preparatory process for the high-level meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the Durban Conference.
- The follow-up process to the changes made to the Organization's budgeting and programming cycle and the negotiations on the new scale of assessments.
- The preparatory works for the 4th session of the Intergovernmental Conference for the adoption of an international legally binding instrument for the protection and conservation of the marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)
To conclude, I would like to reaffirm Cuba's commitment to the goals and principles of the G-77 and China, and to the construction of a more just and united world, where no one is left behind.
You can count on my delegation, to move forward in achieving these goals.
Thank you very much.