CAPTION: President Evo Morales addresses the panel meeting. PHOTO: MINFO.

Strengthening South-South cooperation between members of the G77 and China group was the key focus of discussions by the members of the G77 High-level Panel at this morning’s meet.

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, briefed media outlets on the outcomes of the first session of the meeting.

Held behind closed doors, this morning’s session saw leaders expressing their desire to work together towards pushing the needs and challenges of developing countries.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales highlighted the need to adopt economic models that put the plight of ordinary citizens at the forefront.

President Morales said that basic services such as water, power, and telecommunication are basic human rights. He said Bolivia wanted to work in solidarity with the South.

His statements were echoed by his Kiribati counterpart, President Anote Tong who also urged for a balance in future developments including environmental concerns.

President Tong also highlighted the need to address over-exploitation of tuna reserves in Pacific waters and solidarity amongst Pacific Islands Small Developing States (PSIDS) to ensure they gain higher economic returns from tuna sales.

Other panel members emphasized the need for a stronger stand on global challenges that affected them directly. Vanuatu Prime Minister Hon Moana Kalosil spoke on the inequities of climate change. His Solomon Islands counterpart Hon Gordon Darcy Lilo said participants should use the meeting to make the South-South Cooperation a force in the economic development of the South.

The meeting will continue today and tomorrow.



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