The Group of 77 (G-77) was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. Beginning with the first Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 in Algiers in 1967 which adopted the Charter of Algiers, a permanent institutional structure gradually developed which led to the creation of Chapters of the Group of 77 in Rome (FAO), Vienna (UNIDO), Paris (UNESCO), Nairobi (UNEP) and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C. (IMF and World Bank). Although the membership of the G-77 has increased to 133 countries, the original name was retained because of its historic significance.
As the largest Third World coalition in the United Nations, the Group of 77 provides the means for the developing world to articulate and promote its collective economic interests and enhance its joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues in the United Nations system, and promote economic and technical cooperation among developing countries (ECDC/TCDC).
The organization and modalities of work of the G-77 in the various Chapters have certain minimal features in common such as a similarity in membership, decision-making and certain operating methods. The Group's work in each Chapter is coordinated by a chairman who acts as its spokesman. The chairmanship rotates on a regional basis (between Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean) and is held for one year in all the Chapters. Currently the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 in New York for the year 2001.
The Ministerial Meeting is the supreme decision-making body of the Group of 77. They are convened annually at the beginning of the regular sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York and periodically in preparation for UNCTAD sessions and the General Conferences of UNIDO and UNESCO. Special Ministerial Meetings are also called as needed such as on the occasion of the Group's 25th anniversary (Caracas, June 1989) and 30th anniversary (New York, June 1994). In April 2000 the Group of 77 met for the first time at the level of heads of state or government which therefore elevated decision-making within the Group of 77 to the highest political level.
The Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (IFCC) is a plenary body consisting of senior officials which meets once every two years to review the state of implementation of the Caracas Programme of Action (CPA) adopted by the Group of 77 in 1981. The IFCC was last convened in Manila in 1996. Subsidiary structures created to support the CPA include, among others, the Core of Assistants to the Chairman of the Group of 77, the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF) for ECDC/TCDC, the General Conference and Steering Committee of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Group of 77, Action Committees, and National Focal Points for ECDC.
The activities of the Group of 77 are financed through contributions by Member States and other developing countries.