Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, today officially took over the chairmanship of the Group of 77 (G-77) Vienna Chapter. He succeeds Ambassador Mahmoud Elamin, the Permanent Representative of the Sudan, whose leadership during 2013 was highly praised by representatives of the G-77 Member States.
The incoming Chair, Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, said that his election to the position would be welcomed by the Government of Sri Lanka which stresses stewardship on issues of global importance for developing countries through a well-established policy of constructive cooperation and dialogue in order to maximize the outcome for the countries of the South.
The main focus of the G-77 Vienna Chapter, which is financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is the promotion of technical cooperation activities and international cooperation. The Chapter coordinates the work of the G-77 in Vienna, holding an average of 140 group meetings each year, and preserves its institutional memory.
The G-77 Vienna Chapter serves all the Vienna-based UN organizations, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the UN Office in Vienna (UNOV).
The executive heads of UNIDO - LI Yong; the IAEA - Yukiya Amano; and the CTBTO - Lassina Zerbo; as well as John Sandage, Director of Treaty Affairs at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), took part in today’s ceremony.
The G-77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, and as such it provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.
The G-77 was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries during the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. Although the membership of the G-77 has increased to 132 countries, the original name has been retained because of its historic significance.
The work of the G-77 is organized through the various Chapters based in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome and Vienna. The Group sponsors and negotiates resolutions and decisions at global conferences and other meetings dealing with international cooperation, economy and development that are held under the aegis of the United Nations.