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UN Secretary-General, UNGA President Call for G77 Leadership to Address Global Challenges

11 January 2012: In his remarks at the Group of 77 chairmanship handover ceremony in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored the importance of the leadership of the G77 in ensuring that "concrete actionable measures" are adopted at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

During the ceremony, which took place at UN Headquarters, Amb. Jorge Argüello of Argentina handed over the G77 chairmanship to Amb. Mourad Benmehidi of Algeria. Ban stated that the UNCSD is a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to build the future we want." He called for "connecting the dots" between policy challenges, namely climate change, the water, energy and food crises, global health, and women's empowerment. He concluded by noting the importance of the role of the G77 in the global efforts to mobilize political will to achieve sustainable development.

Amb. Mutlaq M. Al-qahtani, Chef de Cabinet of Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President, expressed his expectation that the G77 "will play an important role" at Rio+20, stressing the importance of coordinated action by the G77 for a successful conference.

On climate change, Ban underscored progress achieved at the Durban Conference on Climate Change, adding that the leadership of the G77 "will be fundamental to transforming these commitments into concrete action."

In a press conference held after the ceremony, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci outlined the priorities challenges for the Group for 2012, highlighting  food security, sustainable development and access to energy. [UN Secretary-General's Statement] [UNGA President's Statement] [Press Conference on the G77 Chairmanchip Handover] [UN Press Release]