Jamaica to chair Group of 77 in Geneva in 2016
As United Nations diplomats prepare for the 14th quadrennial United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV) in Kenya in July 2016, the chair of the Geneva chapter of the Group of 77 and China has passed from the Philippines to Jamaica. The group provides the means for 134 countries of the global south to articulate and promote collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on major international economic issues.
Cecilia B. Rebong, ambassador of the Philippines to the UN and other organisations in Geneva, handed over to Wayne McCook, her counterpart representing Jamaica, at a ceremony at the Palais des Nations.
Rebong said: "The developing world still needs UNCTAD because even 51 years after its founding, the conditions that existed then, such as the lack of an enabling environment, the imbalances, the vulnerabilities, the lack of resilience, the external shocks, still to this day, threaten all of us."
McCook said: "We must, as a group, and equally as members of UNCTAD, ensure that UNCTAD XIV is a success - success, measured not by the length of our Declaration, but by its substance and its value in shaping a progressive agenda."
He added: "The Group of 77 and China has played and will continue to play a crucial role as the standard-bearer for the interests of all developing countries. Its role in UNCTAD from conceptualisation through its over five decades of unparalleled work on trade and development issues has stood the test of time. Let us build on this foundation to deliver meaningful trade and development outcomes for those on whose behalf we work - the people of our countries."