Kiribati has expressed its desire to take up membership of the G77 to strengthen its position on the global stage.
This was raised by the leader of the Pacific Island nation, His Excellency President Anote Tong, when he addressed the G77 High-Level Panel meeting at Natadola this morning.
“Thank you Mr Chairman for inviting me because as you know, Kiribati is not a member of the G77. However I have spoken to the G77 Executive Secretariat and before we leave this meeting you will receive our letter requesting membership of the G77”, President Tong told Fijian Prime Minister and Chair of the G77, Voreqe Bainimarama.
Highlighting the need for Pacific Island nations to play their full part in international issues,including those relating to sustainable development, President Tong said we must bring balance when addressing development.
“We hope we can thereby have the opportunity to give wider voice to our needs and concerns,particularly in terms of South-South cooperation”, President Tong said.
“We believe that it’s important when we look at development, we must always try to achieve a sense of balance between economic growth, social developments and the environment, so that no sector of the community is marginalised. We must always take into consideration environment concerns”.
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, said that as a member of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS), Kiribati would be a most welcome part of the G77 membership.
He said, “The G77 is the most appropriate international grouping for countries such as Fiji, Kiribati and other PSIDS to advance the development of their economic agendas in the global context”.