New York (30 April 2013) — A G-77 High-level Panel of Eminent Personalities will convene in Natadola, Fiji, on 7-9 May 2013 to discuss what additional action-oriented measures should be adopted to give further momentum to strengthening cooperation between the nations of the South.

At the Second South Summit of the Group of 77, held in Doha, Qatar (12-16 June 2005), the leaders of the developing world decided to launch a development platform for the Group that would provide a framework of development options to support the participation and integration of developing countries into the global economy and to promote South-South cooperation. Such a platform would also serve to strengthen the solidarity and bonds within the members of the Group of 77.

Today South-South cooperation is an essential ingredient in the international development agenda. It is increasingly making an indispensable contribution to global development. The Group of 77 believes that development challenges facing the developing countries dictate that countries of the South must take South-South cooperation to a new level.

In this context, the meeting of the G-77 Panel of Eminent Personalities will carry out a comprehensive review of the existing trends in South-South cooperation and point to ways of consolidating and strengthening South-South cooperation in the evolving global economic order. The outcome of the meeting will be forwarded for appropriate action to the Thirty-Seventh Annual Meeting of G77 Ministers of Foreign Affairs to be held at UN Headquarters in New York in September 2013.

The meeting of the G-77 High-Level Panel will be chaired by Fijian Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama, current Chair of the Group of 77. The members of the G-77 High-Level Panel include prominent statesmen, diplomats and senior officials of the South drawn from all regions of the developing world.

With 132 members, the Group of 77 is the largest grouping of governments from the South. Since its establishment in June 1964, the G-77 has proved its effectiveness as a body advancing the issues and interests of developing countries.  As the main voice of the South on economic and social issues in the UN system, the Group has created a solid platform for a more representative and democratic global order. The G-77 has enhanced the negotiating capacity of the South, and has played a pivotal role in the development of an international agenda which takes account of the primary interests of the developing world. The number of member countries has increased since 1964 from the initial seventy-seven to 132, but the original name was retained because of its historic significance. The Group will be commemorating its 50th anniversary in 2014.

The Group has a permanent Executive Secretariat located at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Group has also chapters with liaison offices at the main UN centres in Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Washington, D.C (G-24). Currently the Republic of Fiji holds the chairmanship of the Group of 77 in New York for 2013.



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