Antigua new chair of G77

UNITED NATIONS, New York, September 28, 2006 – Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda has been elected as chairman of the Group of 77 and China.

It is the fourth time that a Caribbean country has been elected as chair. Jamaica was elected twice – in 1977 and 2005, and Guyana in 1999.

Spencer will serve a one year term, beginning January 2008, of the loose loose coalition of 132 developing nations which presents a collective approach to negotiations on behalf of its members at the United Nations.

He said his country was “humbled by the show of confidence we have received from the Group”.

Spencer, who is in New York attending the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations, has continued bilateral talks with the prime minister of Malta, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Bahrain, and Canada, the emir of Qatar and prime minister of Turkey.

“As a direct result of my discussions with my colleagues, I have succeeded in laying the groundwork for significant bilateral cooperation in the areas of education, tourism, ICT, transportation infrastructure, sports, and the restoration of culturally significant sites,” he said.