Landmark Documents:

The Joint Declaration of the Seventy-seven Developing Countries (Group of 77) made at the conclusion of the First Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, 15 June 1964.

Geneva, 15 June 1964

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Leopoldville), Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dahomey, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Viet-Nam, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Upper Volta, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen and Yugoslavia

The basic premises of the new order were enumerated in these earlier declarations and in the report of the Secretary-General of the Conference. In brief, they involve a new international division of labour oriented towards the accelerated industrialization of developing countries. The efforts of developing countries to raise the living standards of their peoples, which are now being made under adverse external conditions, should be supplemented and strengthened by constructive international action. Such action should establish a new framework of international trade that is wholly consistent with the needs of accelerated development.

3. The several themes of a new and dynamic international policy for trade and development, including the question of transit trade of land-locked countries, found concrete expression in specific programmes and proposals presented by the developing countries to this Conference as a united expression of objectives and measures in all major fields. The developing countries consider it an achievement that this Conference has provided a basis for the fullest discussion of these programmes and proposals by the entire international community. They are confident that the deliberations of this Conference will be of assistance in the formulation of new policies by the Governments of both developed and developing countries in the context of a new awareness of the needs of developing countries.


4. The developing countries declare, however, that they consider the final recommendations of the Conference as only an initial step towards an international endorsement of a new trade policy for development. They do not consider that the progress that has been registered in each of the major fields of economic development has been adequate or commensurate with their essential requirements. There has not, for instance, been an adequate appreciation of the problem of the “trade gap” of developing countries. Only the most limited approaches were made regarding trade in primary commodities, and of preferences for exports of manufactures. Similarly, only preliminary steps were possible relating to schemes for compensatory financing to meet long-term deterioration in the terms of trade. The developing countries have, nevertheless, accepted the results of this Conference in the hope that these results would lay the foundation for more substantial progress in the period ahead. They have also accepted these resolutions in recognition of the need for a co-operative effort in the international field. To this end they have chosen to arrive at the widest measure of agreements possible, rather than to register their aspirations by majority decisions. 


5. The developing countries attach singular importance to the establishment of international machinery in the field of trade and development. It is vitally necessary that this new machinery should be an effective instrument for the discussion of issues, the formulation of policies, the review of results, and for taking such operational measures as are needed in the sphere of international economic relations.

6. The developing countries recognize the value of the general agreement attained regarding the establishment of continuing machinery. They note that some important issues pertaining to such machinery have been held over the decision by the General Assembly. In this connexion, it is their view that there should be ample scope for reaching workable agreement on substantial issues. But, they categorically declare that no arrangements designed for this purpose should derogate from the ultimate right of the proposed Board and the Conference to adopt recommendations on any point of substance by a simple majority vote in the case of the Board and two-thirds majority in the case of the Conference. The developing countries attach cardinal importance to democratic procedures which afford no position of privilege in the economic and financial, no less than in the political spheres. Furthermore, the developing countries would stress the need for continue evolution in the institutional field, leading not merely to the progressive strengthening of the machinery that is now contemplated, but also to the ultimate emergence of a comprehensive international trade organization.


7. The developing countries regard their own unity, the unity of the seventy-five, as the outstanding feature of this Conference. This unity has sprung out of the fact that facing the basic problems of development they have a common interest in a new policy for international trade and development. They believe that it is this unity that has given clarity and coherence to the discussions of this Conference. Their solidarity has been tested in the course of the Conference and they have emerged from it with even greater unity and strength.

8. The developing countries have a strong conviction that there is a vital need to maintain, and further strengthen, this unity in the years ahead. It is an indispensable instrument for securing the adoption of new attitudes and new approaches in the international economic field. This unity is also an instrument for enlarging the area of co-operative endeavour in the international field and for securing mutually beneficent relationships with the rest of the world. Finally, it is a necessary means for co-operation amongst the developing countries themselves.

9. The seventy-five developing countries, on the occasion of this declaration, pledge themselves to maintain, foster and strengthen this unity in the future. Towards this end they shall adopt all possible means to increase the contacts and consultations amongst themselves so as to determine common objectives and formulate joint programmes of action in international economic co-operation. They consider that measures for consolidating the unity achieved by the seventy-five countries during the Conference and the specific arrangements for contacts and consultations should be studied by government representatives during the nineteenth session of the United Nations General Assembly.


10. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development marks the beginning of anew era in the evolution of international co-operation in the field of trade and development. Such co-operation must serve as a decisive instrument for ending the division of the world into areas of affluence and intolerable poverty. This task is the outstanding challenge of our times. The injustice and neglect of centuries need to be redressed. The developing countries are united in their resolve to continue to quest for such redress and look to the entire international community for understanding and support in this endeavour.

© The Group of 77