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South Africa Leads UN 77 Developing Nations


A United Nations promotional poster for the Millennium Development Goals. The deadline for attaing the goals is 2015.

A United Nations promotional poster for the Millennium Development Goals. The deadline for attaing the goals is 2015.

South Africa has become the leader of the “Group of 77,” a coalition of developing countries that is part of the United Nations. One third of the U.N. countries are members of the G77, including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Somalia.

Luwellyn Landers is South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. He spoke at a recent meeting of the group in New York.

“This year will prove to be a crucial year in which the various envisaged development processes would demand that we, as a group, remain even more steadfast in promoting the interests of developing countries.”

Mr. Landers said the group will continue to try to lessen the power of some traditionally strong nations. These include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States. They are sometimes called the “northern nations.”

Mr. Landers said cooperation among the southern countries is very important to international cooperation and partnerships for development. He said that is especially true for efforts to gain balanced, sustainable development.

Mr. Landers also said it must be repeated that South-South Cooperation is not meant to serve in the place of the duties and responsibilities of the developed North. He said that several developing countries had become important engines of world growth. He said their development is having a considerable effect on the world economy.

Mr. Landers told the group that growth and economic development in southern countries has strengthened those countries and made them more powerful.

I’m Anna Matteo.

VOA South Africa Correspondent Anita Powell reported this story from Johannesburg. Christopher Cruise wrote it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

crucial adj. extremely important

envisage v. to picture (something) in your mind

steadfast adj. very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause; not changing

promoting v. to make people aware of (something, such as a new product) through advertising; to make (something) more popular or well-known

sustainable adj. involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources

Do you live in a developing nation? Do you believe southern nations should have more power and northern nations less? We want to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments section.

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