India pledges steadfast support, ‘special consideration’ for poorer nations

United Nations : India has pledged its steadfast support to poorer countries on issues that matters to them and said it would give them special consideration.

India’s newly-minted Permanent Representative, Syed Akbarduddin, said on Tuesday, “India will be resolute in pushing for developing country unity and will spare no effort to give special consideration to the interests of our brothers and sisters from LDCs (Least Developed Countries), SIDS (Small Island Developing States) and LLDCs (Land-locked Developing Countries). They can count on our steadfast support on issues of concern to them.”

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He was speaking at meeting of the Group of 77 held here for the ceremonial transfer of the chairmanship of the organisation of developing countries from South Africa to Thailand. Group of 77 or G-77 is the largest inter-governmental organisation at the UN and it advocates for its economic interests and promotes cooperation among the members. From 77 members at its founding in 1964, it has grown to 134 members.

Referring to Agenda 2030, the ambitious programme of sustainable development goals adopted at the UN summit last September, Akbaruddin said, “If 2015 was a year of negotiation and deliberation, 2016 should be a time of consolidation and implementation.”

Asserting that the focus during the implementation phase should be on the priorities and needs of the developing countries, he said, “The founding principles of the Group of 77 — equity, solidarity and unity, rooted as they are in our collective aspiration to help our people achieve a life of dignity — are even more relevant.”

Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said his chairmanship’s priority would be pushing for the effective implementation of Agenda 2030. “In line with our theme, we will seek to pursue inclusive development, allowing for the active involvement of all stakeholders,” he said.

He added that it was important to ensure that the “commitments made by developed countries to developing countries are duly honoured”.

India redoubled its outreach to small island developing countries and land-locked developing countries. Last year, it hosted the second summit of the 14-nation Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in Jaipur and New Delhi. India announced enhanced wide-ranging cooperation, including in space and information and communications techology.