UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis today praised the Group of 77 (G77) plus China for supporting multilateralism.

“At a time when multilateralism is tested at every turn, the G77 plus China countries are steadfast in their support for the multilateral system,” Francis told the annual ministerial meeting of the G77 plus China held during the high-level week of the General Assembly.

“And this week we saw evidence of this with record participation of (UN) member states, especially from this group, and the adoption of four important political declarations,” he said.

The world faces immense challenges, but it retains the capacity to act. What is lacking is the will to act and the humility to listen and engage, he said, expressing the hope that the group will continue to be the standard bearer for multilateralism.

The group’s voice is needed for the urgent implementation of the 2030 Agenda and for the reform of the international financial architecture. The fact that the world is off track in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) affects developing countries more than any other group of nations. Hence, the G77 members plus China have the most to lose, Francis said.

Losing the battle to implement the SDGs would have immense socio-economic repercussions that would transcend all sectors, from health and education to maritime systems and the rule of law. Therefore, the G77 plus China has a responsibility to maintain upward commitments and ambitions on SDG implementation, he added.

Francis requested efforts to reform the international financial architecture.

“As a matter of principle, we can no longer tolerate unjust financial systems that are hampering progress and keeping developing countries trapped in a vicious cycle of debt and deprivation,” he said.

The G77 plus China has been instrumental in moving the discussion upward on reform of the international financial institutions and has always had the leading voice on the need to fully implement the sustainable development agenda, he said.

The G77 is a coalition of developing countries at the UN. Its name derives from the 77 founding members, but membership has grown significantly to more than 130.