UNITED NATIONS: Representatives from developing nations railed at the world’s rich nations for failing to fulfill their commitments to increase financial aid, reiterating that developed nations are responsible for challenges like global warming that the poorer nations are now grappling with.
Members of the Group of 77 called Tuesday for better cooperation amongst the world’s developing nations and joint action on global challenges such as climate change, food security and poverty to promote their own interests.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit complained that developing countries aren’t getting enough aid and don’t have the economic clout they deserve.
The "core of the problem," Aboul Gheit said, is the "lack of adequate funding as a result of the failure of many developed countries to fulfill their financial commitments."
The Group of 77, which unites 132 mainly developing countries — most of them in the Southern Hemisphere — and China, held a daylong meeting at UN headquarters where the chairmanship was handed from Yemen to Argentina.
Undersecretary-General Sha Zukang, who oversees economic and social affairs, pointed to the accelerating degradation of the environment and continuing lack of consensus in the international community on how to deal with climate change.
"Against this backdrop of the multiple crises … the leadership role of the Group of 77 has never become more important," he said.
General Assembly President Joseph Deis said the G-77 represents almost two-thirds of the UN member states and is "increasingly being recognized as emerging economic powers."
Deis called for global action to address the challenges and threats a more interdependent world is increasingly facing, including the financial crisis and climate change.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi, the outgoing G-77 president, said climate change was an urgent challenge for the group because it "threatens not only our societies’ developmental prospects but also their very existence."
Al-Qirbi said cooperation among developing countries has increased "in importance and scope," but compliments rather than substitutes cooperation with developed countries.