Chairmanship of the Group of 77
On 1 January 2015 South Africa assumed the chair of the Group of 77 and China (also known as the G77) for 2015.
The G77 is the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations and has 134 member countries. The G77 provides the platform for the countries of the South to express and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues in the United Nations system, promote South-South co-operation and strengthen economic and technical co-operation among developing countries themselves.
Statement from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
South Africa assumes the Chair of the Group of 77:
“On the 8th January 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, South Africa assumed the Chair of the Group of 77 (G77).
The G77 is the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues in the United Nations system, promote South-South co-operation and strengthen economic and technical co-operation among developing countries themselves.
Accepting the responsibility of Chairing the G77, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers thanked “the members of the G77 most for placing its trust and confidence in South Africa”. Deputy Minister Landers also paid a special tribute to the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Mr Evo Morales Ayma for Bolivia’s stewardship of the G77 and China during 2014. He stated that South Africa “will spare no effort in continuing Bolivia’s legacy by ensuring that we collectively enhance the development agenda of the South”.
South Africa will Chair the G77 during the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations at a crucial juncture in the global community’s efforts to agree on the sustainable development priorities and goals needed to take the work of the MDGs forward and to transform the development agenda beyond 2015.
2015 is further a critically important year for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a new legal instrument that contains commitments for both developed and developing countries, expected to be adopted under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
During its term South Africa will be responsible for negotiating and speaking on behalf of two-thirds of the UN membership on key development issues.
Deputy Minister Lander’s concluded, that “after 50 distinguished years, the G77 remains all the more relevant, specifically at this important juncture when the international community is considering our collective development aspirations beyond 2015".”
France welcomes the designation of South Africa as chair of G77 and China Group and looks forward to collaborating with South Africa and its G77 partners on all the pressing sustainable development issues that will be discussed in 2015, most notably the adoption of a post-2015 development agenda and the negotiations under the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), whose 21st Conference of Parties (CoP21) will take place in Paris next December, in order to secure a universal agreement on climate change as was agreed in Durban in 2011.