Sri Lanka assumed the chairmanship of the Vienna Chapter of the Group of 77 from Sudan on January 22, 2014 at a formal meeting attended by the Group's Ambassadors as well as the executive heads of Vienna based international organizations.
Sri Lanka takes over the Group of 77 in Vienna as the Group marks its 50th Anniversary in June this year.
Election of Sri Lanka to this post in the Group of 77, which is the largest block of developing countries in the UN with more than 130 members, reflects the strong confidence placed by the members of the Group in Sri Lanka's role in maintaining a constructive dialogue with international partners to further the cause of the South.
It also bears testimony to policy priorities of Sri Lanka under the Mahinda Chintana vision, which underscores the country's stewardship on issues of global importance for the developing world.
External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris reiterated the importance attached to the Group of 77 by Sri Lanka highlighting that the Group has an important role to play in addressing crucial challenges that affect the developing countries ranging from economic and social development, global financial issues, climate change and sustainable development.
He also pointed out that the Group represents a powerhouse of energy for economic development. The Minister emphasized that Sri Lanka will rigorously pursue the principles underlying South-South cooperation to create political, economic and social unity, in order to enhance the much required north-south cooperation.
The G-77 Vienna Chapter serves all the Vienna - based UN Organizations, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UNIDO and UNODC. The Group of 77 was established in 1964 to pursue collective interests of its member States including economic issues, and constitutes an enhanced joint capacity for negotiations within the United Nations.