President Museveni will in the next one year lead the largest negotiating bloc of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests.
Uganda took over the leadership from the Republic of Cuba during the ongoing 3rd South Summit of the G77 plus China Heads of State and Government at Speke Resort Convention Center, Munyonyo under the theme; “Leaving No one Behind”.
In his inaugural speech, President Museveni informed the Heads of State and Heads of Delegations that Uganda remains committed to the pledge to “leave no one behind” and called upon the international community to implement this by ensuring targeted support to enable countries in dire need to address their challenges without any conditionalities.
“Leaving no one behind cannot be realized without adequately addressing the challenges and needs faced by Countries in special situations, in particular, African Countries, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States as well as specific challenges faced by many middle-income Countries, conflict and post-conflict Countries and Countries and peoples living under foreign occupation. These challenges continue to undermine the efforts of these Countries to ensure that no one is left behind. In our view, the International financial institutions and multilateral development banks must support the national priorities of developing Countries without any conditionalities that infringe on these Countries’ sovereignty,” H.E Museveni said, adding that Uganda has accelerated its national efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its entirety to ensure that no one is left behind at a time when the country is striving to build back better from the COVID Pandemic and respond to other global challenges.
“Uganda has identified four key sectors of wealth creation and job creation that include; commercial agriculture, industrialization, services and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support our socio-economic transformation. The Government of Uganda is implementing targeted interventions in the above key sectors, with a view to ensure that no one is left behind,” the President added.
Gen Museveni commended the unity within the G77+China Group which has enabled it to stay on course to promote and defend its members’ collective economic interests at the United Nations and urged members to continue embracing the founding principles that gave life to what he termed as a heterogeneous and representative group of nations.
“Currently, the population of the G77 and China represent 80% of the global population. In addition, its GDP accounts for more than 40% of the global GDP. This shows that in spite of the challenges, the group has registered progress in defending and promoting the interests of developing Countries,” the President noted.
H.E Museveni further called on the group to remain united in their demand to the international community to support developing Countries to urgently address the global challenges, in particular; poverty, hunger, digital divide and climate change. He also called for an end to the threat to multilateralism and the rise in unilateralism, which makes all susceptible to the impacts of the current unjust international economic order.
“As the G77 and China, we should continue to work collectively to ensure that we achieve an international economic order that is just and equitable as envisaged 59 years ago at the founding of the Group,” Museveni said.
About promotion and protection of Human rights, President Museveni said this remains a top priority, including the right to development, in line with our national legal framework and international commitments.
“We wish to emphasize that the issue of human rights should be handled objectively and not politicized,” H.E Museveni stressed.
According to the President, Uganda is taking over the Chairmanship of the Group at an opportune time of its 60th anniversary. H.E Museveni thanked members for entrusting Uganda with chairing of the Group 77 and China for 2024 which will continue to yearn for a revitalized multilateral system which is capable of adequately addressing current and emerging global challenges.
“Uganda’s Chairmanship will strive to further promote: acceleration of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; scaling up action to address climate change and biodiversity loss; strengthening international tax cooperation; financing for development; fight against illicit financial flows and strengthening digital cooperation, among others,” Museveni said.
The Vice President of the Republic of Cuba H. E. Salvador Valdes Mesa who handed over to H.E Museveni, acknowledged the leadership of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, describing him as a promoter of peace and stability in Africa and the world and promised Cuba’s total support to his leadership of G77+China.
“The Group has been a key player in different UN negotiations including those on sustainable development. Cuba’s leadership of the G77+ China in several international meetings has allowed us to make the interests of the developing countries heard in this critical forum. It was a source of much pride and honor to lead the G77 China which we carried out in difficult circumstances,” H. E. Salvador Valdes Mesa said.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. António Guterres also addressed the Summit, calling upon member states to live up to the expectations of the theme “Leaving no one behind” at a time when many countries face political, social and economic challenges. He also called for an all-inclusive United Nations Security.
“Righting our troubled world depends on effective global action yet the international system is out of date, out of time, and out of step. The United Nations Security Council is paralyzed by geopolitical divisions and its composition does not reflect the realities of today’s world. It must be reformed,” Mr. Guterres said, adding that in the new technological era, no one should be left behind.
The President of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly Dennis Francis said the coming together of the G77 plus China signifies their strength in shaping a new world order that is inclusive and leaves no one behind.
“The Summit of the Future aims to expedite the execution of the 2030 agenda, address crucial governance gaps, and remind member states of their pivotal role in development. G77 must play a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the summit,” Dennis Francis said.
The ceremony was also addressed by H.E. Mr. Liu Guozhong, Special Representative of the President, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as a Special Guest.
Mr. Liu expressed the commitment of the People’s Republic of China to continue working with all member states for holistic development without conditions.
“Over the years, thousands of complete projects and projects for providing goods and materials have been implemented. Over 10,000 technical cooperation projects have been conducted and over 400,000 training opportunities have been provided to developing countries. In all these intervals we have never attached political strings or infringe on other countries’ internal affairs,” Mr Liu said.
The Summit was also addressed by H.E. Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, the host country of the Second South Summit.
The Group of 77 (G-77) was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.