Georgetown, Guyana – (November 12, 2020) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali has stressed on the importance of international cooperation, through multilateralism, in responding to existing global challenges. 

The Guyanese president made this assertion today during his keynote address to the 44th Annual Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group 77 and China.

“The efficacy of this mechanism cannot be underemphasised at this time.”

The Chairman of the group also pointed to the importance of working together to rebuild economies, strengthen public health systems and develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

He also called for enhanced international support for institutions, such as the World Health Organisation, which are best equipped to foster a collective response in this regard.

The President said too that in an effort to rebound stronger and more resilient it is necessary to internalise the lessons of the pandemic to chart a more inclusive, balanced and sustainable development path.  This he emphasised requires the need to address issues such as development gaps, high indebtedness and to advocate for greater access to development financing.

The Head of State highlighted other important challenges including Climate Change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This group continues to call upon all states to prioritise the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We must not waver in our commitment to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.”


President Ali said too that Guyana has made climate action a national priority and remains committed to working with others to overcome the world climate crisis.

As such he referenced the virtual meeting held on October 29, under the theme

“Maintaining a Low Carbon Development Path towards the 2030 Agenda in the era of COVID-19” which brought together more than 170 participants.

“As a group we must also strive to uphold the Paris Agreement and work with all stakeholders, including bilateral partners, to take urgent action to realise the agreement’s ambitions.”

President Ali also pointed to Guyana’s action as Chair of the Group to develop a legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This issue, he stressed, is also of extreme importance as a result of the threat it poses to the economies of many developing countries. 


The President said too that another critical issue underpinning the Group’s ability to confront the many challenges is the preservation of democracy.

“Democracy is essential within states and in relations between states, Democracy therefore must become more embedded in multilateral institutions.”

According to the Head of State, the United Nations is one such institution.

In closing, President Ali assured all that Guyana will conclude the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China without relaxing its commitment to the common interest of the developing world.

He called on the Group to reflect and assess the ways in which they have fallen short of the ideals set out in the Charter of the United Nations. “Only then would we be able to forge a path forward that will eventuate with the necessary reforms needed to advance the goals of a more, just, peaceful and equitable world” 

The President extended congratulations and support to Republic of Guinea, Guyana’s imminent successor as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.