By Reinhard Jacobsen
VIENNA (IDN) – China’s Foreign Minister WANG Yi has praised the Group of 77 (G-77) countries in Vienna, one of the four headquarters of the United Nations, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi, for its important role as a platform for developing countries to engage in multilateral affairs.
The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries within United Nations, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity. The organization, established in 1964 by 77 developing countries, has expanded to 134 member states.
The message of congratulations was read on his behalf by China’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative WANG Qun on the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Chapter of the G-77 on September 11.
Celebrating the occasion, Ecuador’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative Carlos Játiva unveiled a commemorative plaque at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) commonly known as “UNO City” that was opened in 1979. More than 4,000 employees from over 110 countries work for the Vienna-based organizations (VBOs).
The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) provides common services to the VBOs at the VIC. The Director-General of UNOV represents the UN Secretary-General in dealings with the host country and diplomatic missions in Vienna.
The office of G-77 Vienna Chapter was inaugurated on May 19, 1998 by Carlos Margariños, then the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Chapter 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 VBOs and the Group.
During the ceremony, the Chair of the Group underlined that as the body that accounts for more than two-thirds of the world population, the G-77 commits today to contribute to the strengthening of a more democratic, sustainable and equitable world, with increasingly horizontal power relations.
“This pledge”, he said, “is even more pertinent as we acknowledge that progress with respect to structural transformation, employment and distributional outcomes has been uneven, and in some cases, has even experienced a reversal.”
Heads of Mission and delegates of G-77 countries and other regional groups as well as high-level officials from all the VBOs attended the ceremony. UNIDO Director General, LI Yong; Yuri Fedotov, Director General of UNOV and Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Mary Alice Hayward, acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and WANG Xiaoning, Director of Legal and External Relations Division at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) expressed their appreciation of the Chapter’s activities.
UNIDO supports the office of the Vienna Chapter by providing an external relations officer. In his statement, Director General LI Yong emphasized the importance of the cooperation between UNIDO and the G-77 based on the common commitment to sustainable development.
He said “the Group’s vision, reflected by the commitment to sustainable economic development is equally deeply incorporated in the heart of UNIDO.” Adding to the positive remarks concerning past and present cooperation, Li underlined UNIDO’s pledge to continuing its support for the Vienna Chapter. [IDN-InDepthNews – 21 September 2018]
Photo: Vienna Chapter of the Group of 77 celebrates 20th anniversary. Credit: UNIDO.
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