The Group of 77 (G-77) was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. Beginning with the first “Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 in Algiers (Algeria) on 10 – 25 October 1967, which adopted the Charter of Algiers”, a permanent institutional structure gradually developed which led to the creation of Chapters of the Group of 77 with Liaison offices in Geneva (UNCTAD), Nairobi (UNEP), Paris (UNESCO), Rome (FAO/IFAD), Vienna(UNIDO), and the Group of 24 (G-24) in Washington, D.C. (IMF and World Bank). Although the members of the G-77 have increased to 134 countries, the original name was retained due to its historic significance.
The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which 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 United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.
The functioning and operating modalities of the work of the G-77 in the various Chapters have certain minimal features in common such as a similarity in membership, decision-making and certain operating methods. A Chairman, who acts as its spokesman, coordinates the Group’s action in each Chapter. The Chairmanship, which is the highest political body within the organizational structure of the Group of 77, rotates on a regional basis (between Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean) and is held for one year in all the Chapters. Currently the State of Palestine holds the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 in New York for the year 2019.
The South Summit is the supreme decision-making body of the Group of 77. The First and the Second South Summits were held in Havana, Cuba, on 10 – 14 April 2000 and in Doha, Qatar, on 12 – 16 June 2005, respectively. In accordance with the principle of geographical rotation, the Third South Summit is due to be held in Africa.
The Annual Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 is convened at the beginning of the regular session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Periodically, Sectoral Ministerial Meetings in preparation for UNCTAD sessions and the General Conferences of UNIDO and UNESCO are convened. Special Ministerial Meetings are also called as needed such as on the occasion of the Group’s 25th anniversary (Caracas, June 1989), 30th anniversary (New York, June 1994), and 40th anniversary (Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 2004). Other Sectoral Ministerial Meetings in various fields of cooperation of interest to the Group are convened, in order to pursue South-South cooperation. Starting in 1995, the Group convened a series of sectoral meetings in the following fields:
Sectoral Review Meeting of the Group of 77 on Energy, Jakarta, Indonesia, 5 – 7 September 1995;
Sectoral Meeting of the Group of 77 on Food and Agriculture, Georgetown, Guyana, 15 – 19 January, 1996;
South-South Conference on Trade, Investment and Finance, San Jose, 13 – 15 January 1997;
High-level Conference on Subregional and Regional Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, Bali, Indonesia, 2 – 5 December 1998;
Meeting of the Ministers of Science and Technology of the Member States of the Group of 77 held in Budapest, Hungary, on 4 November 2009 on the occasion of the World Science Forum organized by UNESCO.
In addition to the Sectoral Meetings, the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on South-South Cooperation (IFCC), which is a plenary body consisting of senior officials, meets once every two years to review the state of implementation of the Caracas Programme of Action (CPA) adopted by the Group of 77 in 1981 and the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the South Summits in the field of South-South cooperation.
The activities of the Group of 77 are financed through contributions by Member States in accordance with the relevant decisions of the First South Summit.
Besides resolution and decisions initiated by the Group of 77 in the UN General Assembly and its Committees as well as various UN bodies and specialized agencies, the Group of 77 produces joint declarations, action programmes and agreements on development issues. The Group adopted the following declarations/documents since its first Ministerial Meeting held in Algiers in 1967:
The Charter of Algiers, Algiers, 10 – 25 October 1967;
Lima Declaration, Lima, 25 October – 7 November 1971;
Manila Declaration, Manila, 26 January – 7 February 1975;
Report on the Conference on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, Mexico City, 13 – 22 September 1976;
Arusha Programme for Self-Reliance and Framework for Negotiations, Arusha, 12 – 16 February, 1979;
Communiqué on the Special Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, New York, 11 – 14 March 1980;
Report on the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Group on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries in Continuation of the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, New York, March 1980, and Vienna, 3 – 7 June 1980;
Communiqué on the Special Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, New York, 21 – 22 August 1980;
The Caracas Programme of Action on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, Caracas, 13 – 19 May 1981;
Ministerial Declaration on the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing (GSTP), 8 October 1982;
The Buenos Aires Platform, Buenos Aires, 5 – 9 April 1983;
Declaration on the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP), New Delhi, July 1985;
Brasilia Declaration on the Launching of the First Round of Negotiations within the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries, Brasilia, 22 – 23 May 1986;
The Cairo Declaration on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (ECDC), Cairo, 18 – 23 August 1986;
Havana Declaration, Havana, 20 – 25 April, 1987;
Agreement on a Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP), Belgrade, 11 – 13 April 1988;
Caracas Declaration on the ccasion of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Group of 77, Caracas, 13 – 23 June 1989;
Recommendations and conclusions of the Group of Experts on the Review and Evaluation of the Implementation of the Caracas Programme of Action (New York, 5 – 9 August 1991);
Tehran Declaration, Tehran, 19 – 23 November 1991;
Tehran Declaration on the Second Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP), Tehran, 21 November 1991;
Ministerial Declaration adopted on the occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Group of 77, New York, 24 June 1994;
Ministerial Statement on “An Agenda for Development”, New York, 24 June 1994;
Conclusions and recommendations of the Sectoral Review Meeting of the Group of 77 on Energy (Jakarta, Indonesia, 5 – 7 September 1995);
The Midrand Declaration, Midrand, South Africa, 28 April 1996;
Conclusions and recommendations of the Sectoral Meeting on Food and Agriculture of the G-77 (Georgetown, Guyana, 15 – 19 January 1996);
The San Jose Declaration and Plan of Action on South-South Trade, Investment and Finance, San Jose, Costa Rica,13 – 15 January 1997;
The Bali Declaration and Plan of Action on High-level Meeting on Subregional and Regional Economic Integration, Bali, Indonesia, 2 – 5 December 1998;
Recommendations and conclusions of the High-level Advisory Meeting on the South Summit (Jakarta, Indonesia, 10 – 11 August 1998);
The Marrakech Declaration (Marrakech, Morocco,16 September 1999);
Final Report on the Group of 77 Meeting of Eminent Personalities to advise on the preparations for the First South Summit (Georgetown, Guyana, 6 – 7 December 1999);
Declaration and the Havana Programme of Action adopted by the First South Summit (Havana, 10 – 14 April 2000);
Tehran Consensus adopted by IFCC-X (Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran,18 – 23 August 2001);
Declaration by the Group of 77 and China on the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference (Doha, Qatar 9 – 14 November 2001);
Agreed conclusions and recommendations of the Meeting of the High-level Advisory Group of Eminent Personalities and Intellectuals on Globalization and its Impact on Developing Countries: (Geneva, Switzerland, 12 – 14 September 2001);
The Dubai Declaration for the Promotion of Science and Technology in the South (Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 27 – 30 October 2002);
Declaration by the Group of 77 and China on the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference (Cancun, Mexico, 10 – 14 September 2003);
The Marrakech Declaration on South-South Cooperation and the Marrakech Framework of the Implementation of South-South Cooperation (Marrakech, Morocco, 16 – 19 December 2003);
The Sao Paulo Declaration (Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11 – 12 June 2004);
Ministerial Declaration adopted on the occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Group of 77 (Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11 – 12 June 2004);
Conclusions and recommendations of the Ad-hoc Group on the Performance, Mandates and Operating Modalities of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry (G-77 CCI) (New York, 3 November and Doha, 3 – 4 December 2004);
Conclusions and recommendation on the Group of 77 High-level Forum on Trade and Investment (Doha, Qatar, 5 – 6 December 2004);
Conclusions and recommendations of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Study Group Workshop on the Trade and Development Bank (New York, 2 – 3 May 2005);
Yamoussoukro Consensus on South-South Cooperation adopted by the Twelfth Session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (IFCC-XII) (Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, 10 – 13 June 2008);
Declaration on Water adopted by the First Ministerial Forum on Water of the Group of 77 (Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, 23 – 25 February 2009);
Declaration “For a new world order for living well” adopted by the Summit of Heads of State and Government on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Group of 77 (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, 14-15 June 2014).
The Group of 77 also makes statements at various Main Committees of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and other subsidiary bodies, sponsors and negotiates resolutions and decisions at major conferences and other meetings held under the aegis of the United Nations dealing with international economic cooperation and development as well as the reform of the United Nations.