Press Release

The Group of 77 has decided to sever its ties with the G77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry (G77CCI), giving it an option to operate as an independent entity. The decision to break relations was taken at the Thirtieth Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the G77 held at UN Headquarters in New York on 22 September 2006. The meeting also decided that the G77CCI should be renamed and all references to the Group of 77 should be deleted, including the use of logos, letterheads, web pages, and the like. The re-named chamber would no longer be required to submit financial or substantive reports to the Group of 77 nor to attend its meetings, except by special invitation, and all future dealings would be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the nature of the activity to be carried out.

Since the submission of the report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on the G77CCI in December 2004, and in spite of all the efforts undertaken by the various Chairmen of the Group of 77, very little or no progress has been achieved regarding the situation of G-77CCI and its relationship with the Group of 77. As of 22 September 2006, the situation is as follows:

(a) The G77CCI has been inactive for quite a long period of time;

(b) There has been no chairman since the resignation of the past chairman in 2005;

(c) The last G-77CCI General Conference (intended to be an annual or biennial event) was held in 1999, after holding seven General Conferences in the previous twelve years (1987-1998);

(d) The Steering Committee (i.e. the managing body of G-77CCI, which should meet immediately before or after the General Conference and at least once between General Conferences) has not met since 2001, after holding twenty-eight (28) meetings in the previous 14 years (1987-2000);

(e) In spite of several attempts, it has not been possible to organize and convene either a meeting of the Steering Committee or the General Conference of G-77CCI, in order to identify and appoint a new Chairman.

This decision of the Ministers will enable the former G77CCI to continue to operate independently and it would be free to adopt and utilize its own operating procedures that best suit the needs of its members. This may translate into a better performance and the possibility of undertaking business initiatives that were not practical or feasible under the previous arrangement. At the same time, the Group of 77 will also continue to explore other ways of encouraging participation of the private sector in South-South cooperation in the area of trade.