The Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77, held in New York in September 1980, agreed "to convene a conference of developing countries at a high level in 1981 in order to intensify and ensure the implementation of various programmes and decisions on economic cooperation among developing countries in a concrete and coherent manner".
The main events on this matter held prior to this high-level conference were the following: the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 held in Manila from January 26 to February 7, 1976; the Conference on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries of the Group of 77, held in Mexico City from 13 to 22 September 1976; the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, held in Arusha from 12 to 16 February 1979; the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned countries, held in Havana from 3 to 9 September 1979; the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 held in New York from 11 to 14 March 1980, and the Meeting of the Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Group on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in Vienna from 3 to 7 June 1980. Moreover, other meetings which are closely related to this matter are the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in Buenos Aires from 30 August to 12 September 1978, and meetings on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries held in the context of United Nations fora.
The Ministers entrusted the Group of 77 in New York to make necessary arrangements for the preparations of the High Level Conference. This preparatory work included ad hoc technical meetings of officials responsible at the national level for the operational aspects of activities of Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries.
In pursuance of this mandate, the Group of 77 in New York established the terms of reference for the technical meetings of experts that were held from 16 to 27 March 1981 in Geneva, Vienna and Rome. The experts were entrusted with the task of forwarding practical and concrete recommendations, to be presented in operational terms within a time-bound framework, in order to facilitate the effective implementation of the various sections of the Vienna Report. To this end, the recommendations were to include reference to the necessary follow-up action.
The recommendations of the technical meetings of experts were considered by a meeting of senior officials, held in Vienna from 13 to 16 April 1981, in preparation of the High Level Conference. This meeting, according to the terms of reference set by the Group of 77, reviewed and integrated these recommendations and dealt with questions of an intersectoral nature such as some TCDC matters of broader scope and those related to the levels of implementation and mechanisms for coordinating, monitoring and follow-up action and evaluation.
The preparatory work of this Conference was based primarily on the report of the Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Group on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries held in Vienna from 3 to 7 June 1980, which had been endorsed by the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 in September 1980, the conclusions of which represent in important stage in the process leading to concrete and balanced implementation of actions in the field of economic cooperation among developing countries.
The conclusions of the Meeting of Senior Officials were presented to the High-Level Conference held in Caracas from 13 to 19 May 1981.