Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN has a "very solid commitment" for climate action, pointing out that African nations were the biggest victims of the globally changing weather patterns.
"We cannot be defeated by climate change and we are not yet winning this battle," he said yesterday at a ceremony in which Egypt took over the chairmanship of the 'Group of 77 (or G77) and China' from Ecuador.
"And it is clear to me that the biggest victims of climate change are members of the G77, namely African countries affected by drought or small island countries affected by the kind of hurricanes that we have seen or the rising levels of waters.
"But at the same time, of the largest economies of the world the two largest economies of the G77 are strongly committed to the leadership in climate action - and I refer to China and India," Guterres was quoted as saying by a UN statement.
"In a moment when others are failing, I see the largest economies of the Group of 77 and China to be assuming the leadership in climate action to make sure that we don't suffer the dramatic and devastating impacts of climate change, as unfortunately we are already witnessing and things will get much worse if we are not able to defeat this threat," Guterres said.
The G77, established on June 15, 1964, now has 134 members including India and is the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the UN.
The bloc provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the UN system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.
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