H.E. Mr. Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, African Integration and Guineans Living Abroad, of the Republic of Guinea;
H.E. Mr. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
First of all, I would like to express, on behalf of my government, my heartfelt condolences to the people of Pakistan, for the loss of lives during the heavy snowfall that hit Murree.
We are extremely pleased to welcome the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in its capacity as Chairman of the G-77 for the year 2022. Allow me to assure you Cuba's full support and commitment in this endeavor. We are convinced that under the leadership of Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and his team, the G-77 will continue to promote and lead the defense of the interests of the countries of the South.
We wish him every success in his future undertakings, and I convey to him our full readiness to continue to strengthen the historic bonds between Pakistan and Cuba.
In the same vein, we recognize the dedication and leadership performed by the Republic of Guinea in its Chairmanship of the G-77 during 2021, in particular for having been able to guide the Group in the face of the work challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic for the second consecutive year. We sincerely thank Ambassador Aly Diane, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guinea, as well as the Mission team that accompanied him in this effort.
Since its establishment, the history of the Group of 77 and China has been intertwined with that of the United Nations. The values and principles endorsed in the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries" of June 15, 1964, which continue to guide the activities of our Group, become increasingly relevant.
Within and outside the United Nations, the G-77 has become a stronghold in defense of unity, solidarity, cooperation and the achievement of the right to development for our countries, as well as in pursuit of the efforts to achieve a more just and equitable international order.
The G-77 comprises more than half of the world's population and two-thirds of the UN Member States. Our diversity is our strength. It is the responsibility of the Group to lead the interests and aspirations of developing nations in today's complex international context, based on a strengthened multilateralism and an enhanced international cooperation and solidarity, including a renewed South-South cooperation among our peoples.
Cuba has always upheld the founding principles and interests of the G-77. We consider that consensus is a fundamental principle that must be preserved in the functioning of the group. We firmly believe that the current working methods and established practices that have guided its work and decisions are clear and consistent, and should be preserved. These methods and practices have enabled the G-77 to maintain its unity and solidarity over the years, especially when differences arise among our members.
In 2022, in view of the complex processes and scenarios ahead, and taking into account the continuity of remote working modalities, we will need a stronger, more united, proactive and supportive G-77, in staunch defense of its principles and interests, which are those of the most vulnerable. We welcome with appreciation the vision and work priorities advanced by Pakistan, as incoming Chair, which point at several of the key challenges we will face this year.
In concluding, I wish to reaffirm Cuba's commitment to the objectives and principles of the G-77 and China, and to the construction of a more just and equitable international economic order, where no developing country is left behind.
You can count on my delegation to make progress towards the achievement of such goals.