The Group of 77 and China (G77+China) is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries at the United Nations and has the objective of enhancing cooperation among its members.
The G-77 was created on June 15, 1964, following the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven,” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
Among the founding countries were India and Bolivia along with 75 other nations, all members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an organization that brought together developing States that did not align with any of the powers at the time.
After the group’s creation, a headline in the London weekly Sunday Observer hailed it as the most important phenomenon of the postwar period. It was the first intergovernmental organization to bring together developing countries in the southern hemisphere to promote collective interests.
The first ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 took place from October 10 to 25, 1967, in Algiers, Algeria. There, the “Algiers Charter,” a permanent institutional structure that led to the creation of G-77 chapters with offices in different cities around the world, was adopted.
In 1992, China joined the bloc, although it collaborates externally and provides the means for Southern countries to articulate their economic interests.
The G-77+China maintains its name for historical reasons but, currently, it has 134 members, making it the largest and most diverse concerted mechanism at the multilateral level. Its members represent two-thirds of the members of the United Nations system and 80 percent of the world’s population.
Another of the tasks of the G77+China is to be a counterweight to the G7, which groups the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Canada. These seven countries represent 10 percent of the population and control more than 46 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The 134-member G77+China has managed to boost the commercial and economic interests of developing countries over those of richer nations. The multilateral organization has a large majority in the United Nations General Assembly, which gives it great negotiating potential.
The presidency of the group rotates on a regional basis between Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and each year goes to a different region. The country that occupies the position must ensure the interests of all members and coordinate the meetings.
The Southern Summit is the highest decision-making body of the Group of 77. The Cuban capital held the first such meeting in April 2000 and five years later Doha, Qatar, hosted the second. Under the principle of geographical rotation, the third South Summit will be held in Africa.
In January 2023, Cuba assumed the presidency and in June it convened the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the G77+China under the theme “Current Development Challenges: Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation,” which is scheduled for September 15-16 in Havana. (PL)