Global South urged to make voices heard

2024-02-02 11:05:27China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

At a time when the world is faced with multiple crises ranging from climate change to conflicts and inflation, calls have been made to emphasize the importance of the Group of 77 and China as a mechanism for developing countries to make their collective voices heard.

While commenting on the Third South Summit that concluded in Uganda's capital Kampala last week, Claver Gatete, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, said if there was ever a time when multilateralism demanded more from the Global South, now is the time, and the leadership role of the G77 and China will become even more critical.

"As we prepare for the Summit of the Future later in the year, the unified voice of the G77 and China will be a critical factor for success. The principle of 'leave no one behind', which was the theme of this year's summit is more than the North-South divide. It is about the most basic and fundamental right and dignity of our people," Gatete said.

In a statement released following the Third South Summit, representatives from G77 and China stated that the organization, which comprises more than 130 countries, underscored their critical role in providing the Global South with the means to articulate their shared vision, promote their interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity.

"We are proud of the great legacy and achievements of the Group in defending and promoting the interests of the developing countries and in pursuing sustainable development and shared prosperity," the statement said.

The group also resolved to intensify its efforts to work collectively for the well-being and prosperity of the countries and the peoples of the South, for mutually beneficial cooperation and a world order that is just, equitable, stable and peaceful.

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's president and the group's new chairman, said the grouping remains united in its pursuit of collective interests at the global level and must ensure that priorities of the group are promoted and defended.

Solutions to challenges

Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, minister in Singapore's Prime Minister's office and the second minister for foreign affairs in Singapore, said that as the largest grouping of developing countries at the UN, the G77 and China mechanism has a unique role in contributing to solutions toward the array of development challenges that they face.

He reiterated in a statement the significance of the group's position to amplify the voice of the South on these issues, and work with others within a rules-based multilateral framework to find collective solutions.

While commenting on the outcome of the summit, Zhou Pingjian, China's ambassador to Kenya, said that it was clear from the summit that in today's rapidly evolving world characterized by unprecedented transformations, the Global South countries are confronted with a complex international environment.

Despite this, he said that as the world's largest developing country, a dedicated partner of the Non-Aligned Movement and a member of the Global South, China remains committed to the collective advancement of all developing nations.

According to Gatete, Global South countries should support initiatives such as the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement and the African Union's Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa as master plans for transforming member countries.

The G77 and China is the largest grouping of the Global South representing 80 percent of the planet's population. Gatete said that member countries should take advantage of this to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues, and promote South-South cooperation for development.


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