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Palestine elected as chair of Nairobi branch of G77 plus China

April 11, 2019 2:18 P.M. (Updated: April 13, 2019 10:43 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestine assumed the chairmanship of the Nairobi branch of the Group of 77 plus China, on Thursday, taking over the post from the Ethiopian ambassador.

The handover of power ceremony was held at the United Nations headquarter in Kenya in the presence of the members of the Group of 77 plus China.

Palestine’s nomination to chair the Nairobi branch was supported by the Asia and Pacific Ocean group.

Palestine became chairman of the Group of 77 plus China at the UN headquarter in New York City in January.

Palestine was elected as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in November 2012 after failing to get full membership, which is required to pass a vote in the UN Security Council, following US opposition. As an observer state, Palestine is not allowed to vote but can join all UN member organizations.

Taking the presidency of the G77 by an overwhelming vote in October with 146 countries voting in favor, three opposed (the United States, Israel and Australia), and 15 abstaining was seen as a great advance for the Palestinian efforts to get international recognition. The vote also elevated the legal status of Palestine at the UN to allow it to lead the largest UN bloc and represent it in all UN forums and events.

The G77, founded in 1964, was named as such after 77 UN member states created it to promote collective economic interests in the United Nations. Its membership later grew to 134 countries and China joined it but not as a member. The bloc represents 80 percent of the world’s population and speaks as one voice.

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