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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight has called on the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) to push for the reform of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
“It is of particular importance that the strengthening of ECOSOC be given major attention and for the G-77/China to take a more forceful position in the reform process,” Minister Knight said, as he addressed the ceremony to hand over the chairmanship of the group to South Africa yesterday (Jan.12) at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Minister Knight, who chaired the body last year, said that 2005 was an active year for the G-77/China, especially in advancing the work of ECOSOC and its functional commissions.
Looking to the future, he said that it was his hope that the outcome of meetings with the Bretton Woods institutions and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) would provide more concrete policy guidance on international economic issues.
He noted further, that the significant levels of destruction from natural disasters last year, has pointed to the need for increased focus on disaster management and relief and he urged member states to push for the implementation of a resolution sponsored by the G-77/China to address this issue.
Jamaica’s stewardship of the G-77/China was lauded by a number of speakers including the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan; President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Jan Eliasson and Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Kemal Davis.
In accepting the instrument of authority from Minister Knight, Dr. Nkosazana C. Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, noted Jamaica’s tireless efforts in promoting the development agenda under difficult negotiating circumstances.
The Republic of South Africa will chair the influential 131-member grouping for 2006.