Fiji Turns Over Leadership Of G77 To Bolivia

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Kubuabola summarizes 2013 achievements at handover

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 9, 2014) – In handing over the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China to the Bolivian Government today, Fiji called for continued solidarity within the group.

The handover ceremony took place in New York this morning (Fiji Time). In handing over the chairmanship, Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Inoke Kubuabola presented a summarised report of the group's achievements in 2013, reflected on experience gained as well as future challenges. Kubuabola admitted that 2013 was a challenging one.

"It was a year when Member States were tasked to implement the follow-up processes to the Rio+20 conference; a year when our political leaders reaffirmed their collective commitment to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015; and a year that required us to deliberate on the creation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the context of the post-2015 development agenda," Kubuabola said.

"It was also a year when we had to decide on the UN Budget for the biennium 2014-15 in the face of severe financial constraints."

He also highlighted the involvement of other ministers including the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Immigration Minister Joketani Cokanasiga and Social Welfare Minister Dr Jiko Luveni in advancing and defendng the group's interests in 2013.

Kubuabola said the years ahead won't be easy for the group as they accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, formulate the SDGs and elaborate on a universal global development agenda beyond 2015.

"While we look ahead, we must draw on the lessons learned from the implementation of the MDGs and the continued impacts of the global economic and financial crisis.

"It is equally important that the negotiations on the modalities and scope of the Conference on Financing for Development, scheduled to take place this year, must identify and set the appropriate parameters that will lead to a development-oriented Conference.

"We should stay vigilant on the need for institutional reforms of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions as well as the World Trade Organization, in order to ensure a greater voice and full participation for developing countries in all international discussions and policy making."

He also reminded the group of its responsibilities on poverty eradication and climate change.

Kubuabola stressed 2014 will not be any different with its challenges saying it can only be overcome if the group remained united.

"We will be required to work together to tackle the diverse and unique challenges faced by our members and sub-groupings of G77. The convening of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa this year will require the Group to work closely together in support of our SIDS members."

As G77 chair, Fiji convened over 400 coordination meetings of the group's hard-working experts of the UN's various committees in 2013. Fiji also convened 26 G77 ambassadorial meetings during the year, and prepared and delivered more than 150 statements on behalf of the group.

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