President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take part in the Group 77 summit, the Commemorative Summit of the 50th Anniversary of the Group of 77, to be held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia from June 14 and 15. This will be the first time a leader of Sri Lanka visits Bolivia.
The President is one of the leaders scheduled to address the summit and he is expected to meet several world leaders on the sidelines of the meeting.
Delegation from Sri Lanka will include External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga.
The Group of 77 was established on the 15th of June 1964, during a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in Geneva. This conference heralded the inception of a group of 75 developing countries pledging to promote equality in the international economic and social order and promote the interests of the developing world. This was largely seen as an ‘initial step towards the international endorsement of a new trade policy for development’.
Late Dr. GaminiCorea; Sri Lankan economist, civil servant, diplomatand the Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1974 to 1984, played a key role in establishing the G 77. He helped to create the G - 77, at the first session of UNCTAD.
One hundred and thirty three(133) countries around the world are members of the G - 77 while Bolivia holds the Chairmanship of G-77 for 2014. Accordingly, the President of Bolivia Evo Morales is the current Chairperson of G - 77.
The first meeting of G - 77 washeld in Algiers in 1967 where the Charter of Algiers was adopted and the basis for permanent institutional structures was begun. There are Chapters of the Group of 77 in Rome (FAO), Vienna (UNIDO), Paris (UNESCO), Nairobi (UNEP) and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C. (International Monetary Fund and World Bank).