middle east

Palestine assumes G-77 chair at UN

'Israel's continued colonization and occupation of Palestine undermines our development,' Mahmoud Abbas says

  | 15.01.2019
Palestine assumes G-77 chair at UN

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON

The state of Palestine officially assumed the chairmanship of the G-77 group of developing nations Tuesday.

Palestine formally succeeded Egypt in chairing the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries, and China, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres saying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' chairmanship is "a clear demonstration of the strong commitment of the State of Palestine to an effective Presidency.

"Palestine and its citizens have first-hand experience of some of the most challenging and dramatic global issues we face. You are well-placed to take up the chairmanship of this important group of countries," Guterres said at an event marking the presidency's handover.

Abbas vowed Palestine's G-77 presidency will be dedicated to protecting the group's interests while additionally lashing out at Israel.

"Israel's continued colonization and occupation of Palestine undermines our development, and capacity for cooperation and coordination, and obstructs cohesive future development for all peoples of the region," he said at the UN's New York headquarters.

"The establishment of peace and security in the Middle East will significantly enhance the opportunities for sustainable development for all countries of the region," added Abbas.

As head of the G-77, Palestine -- which is a non-member observer state -- will be able to act as a member state and exercise its right to reply as a member of the bloc.

Palestine has been a non-member observer state since 2012, and has the right to vote on some General Assembly resolutions and participate in UN organizations.

*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations

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