By Reinhard Jacobsen
VIENNA (IDN) – While the State of Palestine has in a historic move taken over the presidency of the Group of 77 (G-77) and China at the United Nations in New York, Egypt has assumed the chairmanship of the Vienna Chapter of the largest Inter-Governmental Organization of developing countries in the UN, comprising 134 countries representing some 80 percent of the world population.
Egypt has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause since the 1950s. Even today Cairo maintains strong relations with the Palestinian Authority and it favours peace between both Israel and Palestine.
Vienna is one of the four headquarters of the United Nations, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi. In September 2018, the Vienna Chapter commemorated its 20th Anniversary at the Vienna International Centre.
The office of G-77 Vienna Chapter, which was inaugurated on May 19, 1998 by Carlos Margariños, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has serviced all Vienna-based organizations by providing administrative support to the members.
It serves as institutional memory of the Group’s activities and represents an effective link for better coordination, communication, and cooperation between the Vienna-based organizations (VBOs) and the Group, which employs more than 4,000 employees from over 110 countries.
Director General LI Yong of UNIDO, which finances the G-77 Vienna Chapter, recalled during the 20th anniversary celebration on September 11, 2018 that since its establishment in 1964 during the First session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 1), the Group of 77 has been an advocate for the economic development of developing countries and emerging nations of the South through the will of its members to lend themselves a strong, common voice in economic matters.
The strength that stems from its unity has not declined despite the global challenges and the growth of the Group. The Group’s vision, reflected by the commitment to sustainable economic development, is equally deeply incorporated in the heart of UNIDO.
“Industrialization is a necessary step towards the creation of a world that is more equitable in economic terms, with the aim towards diminishing and ultimately eradicating poverty. This historical correlation between economic and industrial development is now reflected inter alia, in SDG 9. Our Organization has committed itself to work towards the achievement of this goal, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the UNIDO Chief added.
LI Yong participated in the handover ceremony of G-77 Vienna Chapter chairmanship on January 30, 2019. In an official event, Ecuador’s representative Verónica Gomez-Ricaurate handed over the 2019 presidency to Ambassador Omar Youssef, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Heads of Missions and delegates of G-77 countries and other regional groups as well as high-level officials from all the VBOs attended the ceremony. These included the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). [IDN-InDepthNews – 03 February 2019]
Photo (left to right): CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo; UNIDO DG LI Yong; new G-77 Vienna Chapter Chair, Ambassador Omar Youssef of Egypt; IAEA DG Yukiya Amano; and UNODC Deputy Executive Secretary and Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). Credit: UNIDO.
Second photo: Ecuador’s representative Verónica Gomez-Ricaurate handing over G-77 Vienna Chapter presidency to Ambassador Omar Youssef, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt. UNIDO and IAEA DGs look on. Credit: UNIDO
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