S. Africa Takes Helm of UN’s Group of 77 Developing Nations - News Hunter Magazine

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

S. Africa Takes Helm of UN’s Group of 77 Developing Nations

JOHANNESBURG—

South Africa has taken leadership of the United Nations' "Group of
77," during a particularly interesting year for that coalition of
developing nations.

The new post puts South Africa in a position both of power and
responsibility as the U.N. enters its deadline year for the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) – global targets for developing nations.

The G77 represents a third of the U.N.'s membership, and includes
nations as diverse as Bosnia and Herzegovina, a once-war-torn nation
that is now striving to join the European Union – and Somalia, a
chaotic, violent, woefully underdeveloped nation on Africa's east
coast.

South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and
Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, made clear that he understood the
gravity of the situation in his acceptance speech before the group in
New York this week. The development goals, he said, will be a top
priority.

"This year will prove to be a crucial year in which the various
envisaged development processes would demand that we, as a group,
remain even more steadfast in promoting the interests of developing
countries," he said. "The MDGs, adopted in 2000, set bold targets for
development and were key in forging a global cooperation framework for
development. Foremost in our efforts this year will be the evaluation
of the progress made in reaching these goals and the negotiation of
the post-2015 development agenda."

But Landers also reminded the world's superpowers of the collective
might of the group. South Africa has repeatedly hinted at its own
global ambitions, notably by joining BRICS, the economic bloc that
also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Landers noted that the Group of 77 will continue to press to upturn
the northern hemisphere's grip on global power. All five of the U.N.
Security Council's permanent members -- Britain, China, France,
Russia, and the U.S. -- are northern nations.

"South-South Cooperation is key for international cooperation and
partnerships for development. This is especially in terms of global,
regional and country-level efforts to achieve balanced sustainable
development," he said. "We must reiterate that South-South Cooperation
is not intended to be a substitute for the obligations and
responsibilities of the developed North."

"Over the last few years, several developing countries have become the
key drivers of global growth and their development is having a
significant impact on the world economy," Landers contined. "Growth
and economic development in the South has significantly altered the
strategic balance of power towards the countries of the South."



Credit: VOA News

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