By Daniel Van Oudenaren
September 26, 2008 (NEW YORK) — Sudan scored a diplomatic victory at the United Nations today when African nations in the Group of 77 coalition of developing countries handed it the 2009 chairmanship of the organization, which includes most of the countries of the “global South” as well as China.
- Logo of the G77
The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing states in the United Nations and aims to articulate and promote the collective economic interests and enhance the joint negotiating capacity of its member states during negotiations at the United Nations.
At the group’s ministerial meeting on Friday evening in New York, on the sidelines of the current meetings of the UN General Assembly in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Sudanese Vice-President and head of Sudan delegation to the current General Assembly’s session, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, on winning the confidence of the group.
Sudan was elected in part because it was an African nation’s turn to lead the group, providing Sudan with an opportunity to push its candidacy in the midst of a wider diplomatic offensive at the UN to stall the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. This step was regarded as a new accomplishment of Sudanese diplomacy.
After the election process, Taha addressed the meeting, expressing Sudan’s thanks to the member states of the Group of 77 for their confidence.
The meeting was attended by a number of ministers of the group, who expressed their confidence on Sudan’s capability to assume the leadership of the group.
As chair of the Group of 77, Sudan will lead on economic issues, international trade negotiations, issues of the Millennium Development Goals initiative, climate change, poverty, the international food shortage, and preparations for the Summit of the South Countries.