The G-15 foreign ministers, meeting on the side-lines of the General Assembly last week (27 September 2013), renewed their commitment for enhanced engagement and cooperation among themselves, as well as with the relevant Geneva-based institutions. Their primary focus was on newly emerging areas of cooperation in step with the evolving post-2015 development agenda, and they agreed to expand cooperation in four new thematic areas – information communication technology, intellectual property, migration for development and renewable energy. The Group includes Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Chairing the meeting by Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, called for a collective voice in articulation of common interests and convergence across a wide spectrum of fields, including eradication of poverty, balancing economic development with environmental protection, access to technology, reforms in international financial institutions, sustainable growth, among others.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chair of the Personal Representatives of the Group, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, while presenting the highlights of the activities undertaken by the Group since last year, singled out the common positions arrived at by the Group on vital global issues. Noting the dire need for enhanced cooperation, engagement and solidarity among nations of the Global South, he called on developing countries to engage more closely towards framing the post-2015 international development agenda, in order to forestall it from being “imposed” by the developed countries as a fait accompli.
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