The Group of 77 (G77) is the largest intergovernmental coalition of its kind within the United Nations system, established in 1964 with the aim of defending the interests of developing countries, promoting the economy, and coordinating common issues concerning the countries of the South.
The Group was established on 15 June 1964 at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, where the Joint Statement was announced, signed by 77 developing countries from around the world.
From October 10 to 25, 1967, the first ministerial meeting of the group took place in Algiers, during which the "Algiers Pact", which included the founding structure of the group, was ratified.
Although the group has expanded and increased its membership to 134 countries, it still maintains its name for the significance and symbolism of the event, and the strength and diversity of attendance at the founding conference.
The group includes two-thirds of the United Nations member states, 80 percent of the planet's population and nearly 43 percent of the world's economy.
Group of 77 established at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1964 (activists)
Members of the Group of 77
The group includes 134 countries from various developing countries, and the member states are divided by continents:
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, East Timor, Turkmenistan, UAE, Vietnam, Yemen and Azerbaijan.
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Tanzania Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- North America:
Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago.
- South America:
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Cuban President delivers speech at the opening session of the G77 and China Summit on September 15, 2023 (French)
"Group of 77 and China"
The group started with 77 founding members, and from the creation conference came its name, and China was not among the founding members, but remained supportive of all the countries in the group, attending its meetings as a "special guest".
In 1991, during the preparation of the Earth Summit, joint coordination between China and the Community began. Then, in 1996, the 20th Ministerial Session of the Organization adopted China's accession, and the first statement was issued as the "Group of 77 and China", and since then it has been called the "Group of 77 and China".
Mechanism of action
The "Algiers Pact" issued by the First Ministerial Conference in 1967 stipulated that the Ministerial Conference would be held every year on the margins of the United Nations meeting and could meet if necessary.
The ministerial conference of the group discusses policies related to development, the promotion of economic sectors, as well as issues on the agenda of the United Nations, in order to develop a common position on all issues to be discussed in the United Nations General Assembly.
In addition to the ministerial conference, heads of state meet every 5 years to discuss the problems of developing countries and to break with the hegemony of the single global financial system.
Member states are committed to decisions voluntarily, not legally, because consensus on certain decisions remains difficult for countries characterized by "fragility and poverty" and with "geopolitical" competitors.
During the opening of the International Convention on Environment and Development of the Group of 77 and China in Havana on July 4, 2023 (Reuters)
The Group of 77 and China aims to provide the means available to the countries of the South to promote their economic and collective interests, and to strengthen cooperation among developing countries for development.
The Group seeks to increase its joint negotiating capacity on all international economic issues within the United Nations system.
According to the 1964 Algiers Pact, the main objective of the group is to create principles of South-South unity, integration and solidarity.
The Charter also affirmed the Group's determination to create economic and social development through trade and market movement among developing countries.
The "Group of 77 and China" consists of the following structures:
- General Secretariat: It is based in the General Assembly of the United Nations, and its presidency is in the country that holds the rotating presidency of the group, and it has representatives in the branches of the United Nations in Vienna, Paris, Nairobi, Rome and Geneva.
- Ministerial Conference: It meets every year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and coordinates among member states, in order to unify their resolutions and vision at the United Nations, especially in the economic fields.
- Summit: The highest authority in the group with the right to ratify decisions, composed of heads of state and government. The chairmanship of the organization shifts on a regional basis, between Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The term of office is one year in all branches and is carried out by direct majority vote. The group's political decision-making process is known as the "Summit of the South", with the first summit held in Havana, Cuba, in 2000.
- The Group of 24 aims to keep abreast of international financial policy, assess events in the monetary field, monitor IMF decisions, and inform G-77 member states of all financial developments. The Group consists of 24 member States of the "Group of 77".
- South Science, Technology and Innovation Consortium: Known by its acronym "COSTIC", its goal is to develop knowledge and spread technology among the countries of the South, and to exchange experiences among the group of developing countries.
- Pérez Guerrero Trust Fund: Also called "PGTF", it takes its name from the former Secretary-General of "UNCTAD" Venezuelan Manuel Perez Guerrero, who was instrumental in the founding of the Group of 77. The Fund aims to support the countries of the South in the creation and management of projects, in order to increase the pace of economic development.
Conferences & Summits
Since its founding in June 1964, the Group of 77 has convened a conference of foreign ministers on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the United Nations. After the first Algiers Conference, ministerial conferences continued regularly from 1967 to 2023.
At the level of summits attended by Heads of State and Government, the Group held the following summits:
- First South Summit, held in Havana, Cuba, from 12 to 14 April 2000
- Second South Summit, held in Doha, Qatar, on June 12-16, 2005.
- The Santa Cruz Summit in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, on June 14-15, 2014, under the theme "For a New World Order for a Decent Living".
- The Havana Summit 2023, held on 15-16 September 2023 under the theme "Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Invention", brought together 100 countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It was attended by 30 presidents from around the world, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations.