Pakistan formally handed over the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China to Cuba on Thursday after completing its one-year term during which the world grappled with triple crises of food, fuel and finance that especially hit hard the developing countries.
“It is my honour today to transfer the Chair of the Group of 77 and China to my dear friend, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla of Cuba,” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in a video address from Islamabad to the 134-member group, the largest at the United Nations.
Pakistan formally hands over chairmanship of G-77 (developing countries) and China to Cuba
After FM Bilawal’s address, Ambassador Munir Akram, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, handed over the gravel to the Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez Parilla to a resounding applause from the delegates to the meeting, held in the Trusteeship Council.
Upon taking over as chairman, the Cuban foreign minister praised Pakistan’s “laudable” leadership of the Group of 77 during the year 2022.
A founding member of G-77, which promotes the developing countries’ collective economic interests at the UN, Pakistan took over the chairmanship of G-77 from Guinea on January 14, 2022.
Under Pakistan’s chairmanship, the Group has been instrumental in maintaining development at the heart of the United Nations and focus of development partners towards the crises faced by the developing countries due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, growing impacts of climate change, economic imbalances and rising debt distress, commodity price shocks and food insecurity, and persistent fragility and conflict — with the war in Ukraine currently exacerbating many deteriorating trends.
In his address, Foreign Minister Bilawal said Pakistan has had the privilege to chair the Group of 77 and China three times in the past. However, he added, leading the Group in 2022, as “our nations collectively confronted the ‘perfect storm’ of the multiple external shocks of Covid, climate and conflict, was especially challenging and, yet, rewarding”.