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G-15 Calls for Heightened South-South Cooperation

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 30 2013 (IPS) - The G-15 foreign ministers, meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly last week, renewed their commitment for enhanced engagement and cooperation among themselves, as well as with the relevant Geneva-based institutions. Their primary focus was on newly emerging areas of cooperation in step with the evolving post-2015 development agenda.

The Group agreed to expand cooperation in four new thematic areas – information communication technology, intellectual property, migration for development and renewable energy. The meeting was chaired by Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs.  Sri Lanka will be handing over the chairmanship to Kenya, at the G-15 Summit of  Heads of State  be held in Colombo next year.

Established  in 1989, following the conclusion of the Ninth Non-Aligned Summit Meeting in Belgrade, the Group comprises 17 developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. The aims and objectives of the Group are to harness the latent potential of member states for mutually beneficial cooperation, besides serving as a forum for the conduct of regular consultations in pursuance of their common agenda.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and chair of the Personal Representatives of the Group, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, while presenting the highlights of the activities undertaken by the Group since last year, singled out the common positions arrived at by the Group on vital global issues, as reflected in the five joint statements delivered during the year.

Noting the dire need for enhanced cooperation, engagement and solidarity among nations of the Global South,  Aryasinha referred to the need for developing countries to engage more closely towards framing the international development agenda, in order to forestall it from being “imposed” by the developed countries as a fait accompli.

The Sri Lankan foreign minister, noting the ongoing deliberations in shaping the global development landscape beyond the year 2015, called for a collective voice in articulation of common interests and convergence across a wide spectrum of fields, including eradication of poverty, balancing economic development with environmental protection, access to technology, reforms in international financial institutions, sustainable growth, among others.

The Group includes  Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

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