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G-77 Chair: Climate Change Negotiations will be “a Tough Battle”

Group of 77

26 September 2008: Speaking at the thirty-second meeting of

the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 (G-77), Baldwin Spencer,

Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda and Chair

of the G-77, welcomed the Group's continued efforts to strengthen its

solidarity and unity in advancing its development agenda. Referring to the

recent debates on climate change, he warned that the position of developed

countries with respect to development cooperation does not bode well, noting

that it will be “a tough battle.”

He recalled the G-77's position that climate

change threatens sustainable development and that its three pillars should be

promoted in an integrated, coordinated and balanced manner. He called on developed

countries to adhere to the Rio Principles, in particular that of common but

differentiated responsibilities, and to fulfill their commitments under the

UNFCCC. Spencer expressed concern over the Bali Road Map and Plan of Action,

stating that the process underway is not progressing with the necessary sense

of urgency required to reach a satisfactory outcome in Copenhagen in December

2009.

On the Millennium Development Goals and the failure of the WTO

negotiations, he reiterated the Group's call on the international community to

fully and effectively implement the agreed goals and commitments of the past

two decades, in particular the pledges made to assist Africa. In this context,

he outlined and welcomed recent progress achieved towards enhanced South-South

cooperation, noting this dimension of multilateralism is a continuing process

that is vital to confront the challenges faced by the South. [The Statement]