SPOTLIGHT: For 2019, the “State of Palestine” is chairing the 77-strong group in New York. The presidency of the G-77 is the highest political body within the organizational structure of the group, is regionally oriented (between Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean) and is held for one year.
According to WHICHEVERHEALTH.COM, the G-77 was founded in 1967 in Algeria with the “Declaration of Algiers”. The foundation goes back to the first so-called World Trade Conference, the “United Nations Conference on Trade and Development” (UNCTAD) in Year 1964.
The G-77 sees itself as the mouthpiece of the developing countries within the United Nations, especially in matters of development policy. One of the main goals is to improve the position of developing countries on the world market.
When the group was founded, it had 77 members; today it has 134 members. There are 133 UN member states as well as the “State of Palestine”, which has had the status of a permanent observer (“observing non-member state”) at the UN since 2012. The name “Group of 77” was retained for historical reasons. The group itself uses the abbreviation G-77.
In view of the large number, the member states have not been listed (if necessary, you can find membership on the G-77 homepage – see link). After the elimination process, the following graphic and memory aid provide a little help for the overview.
A “simple” memory aid for membership
|Of the 193 UN member states, 133 are also members of the G-77 (the 134th member of the group, the “State of Palestine”, is not a UN member).As a result, 60 UN members are NOT members of the G-77, namely
· 52 OSCE states out of a total of 57, because four OSCE states (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Mongolia) are also members of the G-77 and one OSCE state, Vatican City, is not a member of the United Nations
· 8 other states, namely Mexico, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the two island states of Oceania Palau and Tuvalu (list from west to east).
Of course, there remains a dilemma: you have to know who belongs to the OSCE.
Structures of the G-77
The G-77 is a loose association with relatively weak institutionalization. An annual ministerial meeting takes decisions of principle, which are passed on to regional sub-groups by a coordination committee. The positions and demands of the developing countries are to be coordinated in these bodies in order to achieve a stronger negotiating position at the world trade conferences.
The G-77 drafts joint declarations on development policy and global economic issues such as the “Charter of Economic Rights of the Third World” and launches its own trade and economic policy programs such as the “Global System of Trade Preferences Among Developing Countries”.
In the UN, the G-77 usually appears unanimously on political issues, that is, with only one spokesman.
From the originally 77 founding states, a kind of “mini-UN of the south” has now emerged with over two thirds of the UN members, which is, however, extremely heterogeneous and ultimately only held together by the goal of maintaining one’s own (negotiating) position vis-à-vis the ” rich north “strengthen.
By retaining the membership of emerging countries – for example Brazil, India and China (already the second strongest economic power in the world) – the G-77 has in principle forfeited its original claim to be the mouthpiece of the “developing countries”. It is quite possible that G-77 membership will continue to change over the next few years / decades – but then downwards in terms of numbers.
Note: The People’s Republic of China began its cooperation with the G-77 on the occasion of the “UN Conference on Environment and Development” in 1992, but is now a member of the G-77. The terminology “G-77 and China”, which is still frequently used, goes back to the early days of the cooperation.