17 June 2014
50th Anniversary of the Group of 77 and China
Your Excellency Dominique Awono Essama, Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to FAO and Chairperson of the Group of 77 and China.
Your Excellency, Ministers
Distinguished Permanent Representatives, Ambassadors, and members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to take part of this celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Group of 77 and China.
This is a unique group that joins nations from different regions, with distinct cultural and political backgrounds.
Your diversity gives you strength, as you stand united behind a common purpose and share the same commitment to build a common and constructive agenda for sustainable development.
The role that the G77 and China plays has received widespread recognition in the international arena. I also want to manifest my appreciation for your efforts.
Some days ago, the Heads of State and Government of G-77 and China gathered in Bolivia to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.
I would like to mention three points addressed in the final declaration of the event.
First, the declaration recognizes the importance of South-South Cooperation in areas such as promoting food security and nutrition, and facing climate change.
Second, the Declaration notes the importance of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), to be jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) next November, as a major forum to define how to tackle malnutrition.
Third, the declaration acknowledges the re-appointment of the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, His Excellency Evo Morales Ayma, and the First Lady of Peru, Her Excellency Nadine Heredia De Humala, as FAO Special Ambassadors for the International Year of Quinoa.
Their advocacy in favor of quinoa and food security will continue relevant as we celebrate the International Year of Family Farming in 2014.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Historically, the Group of 77 and China has been a strong supporter of FAO.
There is strength in numbers, as you represent about 2/3 of the FAO total membership.
There is also strength in purpose. We share an understanding of the role that FAO plays in helping you reach your food security and sustainable development goals.
Our relationship has strengthened in the last couple of years, building on the historical support you have given the Organization, and strengthening the trust between Members and the Secretariat.
We have put the Organization at the service of its Members and in delivering concrete results at the regional and country level.
Ladies and gentlemen,
FAO can do more to support you. FAO wants to do more to support you. The transformational change that we started is what will allow us to make this happen.
I am convinced that we are taking the right steps in the right direction. But there is still a lot of work ahead to consolidate transformational change and to translate our strategic focus in concrete results.
We can do this together. And I hope that we will continue to advance together.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you a pleasant evening.