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G-77/China, Others Hold Side Events at First UNEA

unea27 June 2014: The 50th Anniversary of the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) was commemorated during the first meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23-27 June 2014. The commemoration was one of over 40 UNEA side events, which also included discussions on air quality in African cities, sustainable consumption and production (SCP), sound management of chemicals and waste, illegal trade in wildlife, and green and decent jobs.

Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia), UNEA President, urged the G-77/China to stand with one voice on key priorities at the UNEA, such as SCP. Judi Wakhungu (Kenya) called for “ambitious action” in the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and adequate, sustainable and predictable funding.

Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said the G-77/China must highlight collective international responsibility while emphasizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR), noting that “the weakest among us cannot carry the same burden.” He highlighted that the Group now has 133 members, making it the largest grouping in the UN system, and urged its members to maintain “the discipline of belonging.”

Kituyi also said the world is facing threats to multilateralism, including "mega-regional" partnerships such as trans-Atlantic and Pacific partnerships. He said mega-regional negotiations will not resolve critical issues, such as EU fisheries subsidies, unless the G-77 makes its voice heard.

Referring to the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), he noted that SIDS will need the G-77 to promote an agenda of protection. [IISD RS Coverage of UNEA Side Events]