Taking over from the Republic of Guinea the leadership of the Group of 77 (G77) and China for 2022, Pakistan assumed its duties on Friday.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi presided over the proceedings of the opening segment of the handover ceremony held in a virtual format, which was also attended by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and president of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid.
"The work of the Group of 77 and China is pivotal," said the UN chief.
Individually and collectively, G77 members are not only strong supporters of the United Nations, Guterres said. "You are keeping the views, concerns and ideas of the developing world at the center of the UN's discussions and decisions. You have been instrumental in shaping new UN initiatives to support developing countries."
Shahid pointed out that as the largest and most diverse group at the United Nations, the G77 and China has a keen role to play in shaping discourse around contemporary development issues, and in offering solutions to pressing global challenges.
"Access to vaccines, unlocking climate finance, mitigating debt burdens including by debt restructuring and financing a resilient recovery, including in at-risk sectors such as tourism -- are all areas where the G77 can and should lead, and where developing countries must continue to stand together in solidarity," he added.
Qureshi lauded the significant contributions made by G77 towards advancing the economic and social objectives of developing countries in international development negotiations at the United Nations and beyond.
He underscored the need to retain cohesion and unity in G77's collective endeavors to promote prosperity in conditions of equity and equality.
The G77, which got its name from 77 founding members, is a group of 134 developing countries at the United Nations. China aligns itself with the group, whose aim is to promote collective economic interests of the members and to try to have a bigger say in the world organization.