Background information: The Special Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 is being held pursuant to the decision taken by the Group of 77 in New York. The Ministerial Meeting will provide an opportunity for the Group of 77 to assess the achievements of four decades of common efforts to advance the cause of development, and to renew its platform of action in the light of new challenges and developments.

Purpose and expected outcome: This anniversary meeting will give the Group an opportunity for a common assessment of the latest developments on the international scene and to enhance coordination of positions on important issues such as multilateral trade negotiations, the digital divide, the strengthening of South-South cooperation and the advancement of North-South partnership and cooperation for economic and social dialogue. It is significant that the timing of the Special Ministerial Meeting coincides with the eleventh session of UNCTAD, as UNCTAD and the Group of 77 were born together.UNCTAD XI will be an occasion for furthering the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

To celebrate four decades of solidarity for development and to reaffirm the dominant influence exercised by the Group in multilateral diplomacy as a framework for action and as a political force enabling the developing countries to be the prime movers of their own destiny. To set out a vision for the Group's course of action to meet current and future economic and social challenges; to this effect, a ministerial declaration will be adopted.