G-77 - An Overview

G-77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations. India is a member of this group. Guyana took over the chairmanship of G-77 in 2020, succeeding Palestine which held the chairmanship in 2019. This article throws light on the origin, objectives, structure, and activities of G-77.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Origin and Development

The G-77 (Group of 77) was founded on June 15, 1964, by 77 developing nations. They were the original signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven countries” declared at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

The first meeting of the G-77 was conducted at Algiers in 1967, where the historic Charter of Algiers was formally adopted. From that point on the G-77’s institutional structure evolved into a more permanent form. More chapters of the G-77 would be subsequently created in the following years. They were as follows:

  1. Rome (FAO)
  2. Vienna (UNIDO)
  3. Paris (UNESCO)
  4. Nairobi (UNEP)
  5. G-24 in Washington D.C (IMF and World Bank)

Although the membership of the G-77 has increased to 133 countries, the original name has been retained because of its historic significance.

Objectives of the G-77

The main aims of the G-77 are to ensure that the developing world’s collective interests are safeguarded along with the enhancements of its negotiation capabilities in the wider United Nations system and other international forums. An additional aim is also to foster good relations between the developing world at large through economic and technical cooperation.

Structure of the G-77

The annual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of member-countries is the most important decision-making body.

The various Chapters of the G-77 also have common features in terms of membership, decision-making, and certain operating methods. The Group’s work in each Chapter is coordinated by a chairman who acts as its spokesman. The chairmanship rotates on a regional basis (between Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the Caribbean) and is held for one year in all the Chapters.

Activities of the G-77

The G-77 makes joint declarations and agreements related to particular issues along with sponsor and negotiator resolutions and decisions at global conferences and other meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations dealing with international economic cooperation and development.

The initial years of the G-77 showed remarkable cohesion in policy and agreement. In the ensuing years, however, many disagreements began to emerge among the members of the group. One of the factors was that many of the developing countries began to develop at a faster pace compared to other members of the G-77. The emergence of regional and sub-regional integration groupings with their own specific goals and the end of the Cold War lessened the members’ interest in the groupings.

The result of this led to a decline in collective thinking on the policies required to improve the economic power of the developing countries along with the prospect of cooperation among member nations. In recent times, members have resorted to mere castigation of the countries and institutions dominated by those with the economic means to do so.

The problems facing the Third World countries in the era of globalization were discussed for the first time in the grouping. Other issues discussed included the role played by oil in the world economy, the growing disparity between the have’s and have-nots, international terrorism, and drug trafficking.

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