Excerpts from the final communique adopted by the 24th meeting of the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Group of 77 Chapters held in Geneva, 24-26 March 1998:
"We express our firm commitment to further strengthening South-South cooperation. This modality of cooperation is increasingly important, both as a strategy in support of development and as a means of ensuring the effective participation of developing countries in the emerging global economic order. Efforts to promote South-South cooperation are increasing and need to be strongly supported. We believe that there is a need to consolidate ongoing efforts, to further increase resources and to identify priority areas for South-South cooperation. These priority areas should include cooperation among economic groupings to enhance their understanding of complex global economic issues and to formulate joint strategies, especially in the area of sub-regional and regional economic integration.
" In this context, we strongly support the holding in 1998 of a high-level Conference on sub-regional and regional economic integration (Bali, 10-14 August 1998) and the 10th session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on ECDC (IFCC Africa, September 1998). We also welcome the initiative of holding from 1 to 3 June 1998 in Jakarta a High-level advisory meeting to prepare the South Summit in accordance with the decision adopted by the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 held in New York, September 1997.
"We welcome the results achieved so far by the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF) for ECDC/TCDC and we stress its importance as a viable instrument for providing catalytic support to ECDC/TCDC activities. In this context, we commend the work carried out by the Committee of Experts throughout the 11 years of operation of the PGTF. We also reiterate our full support to efforts aimed at expanding PGTF core resources in order to better respond to the increasing needs of developing countries and, in this regard, we welcome the work already carried out by the office of the Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York with a view to enlisting contributions from potential donors. Under the coordination of the Chairman of the Group in New York, this initiative will be expanded through the active and concerted participation of the Chairmen/Coordinators from other Chapters.
"We express our support to the ongoing efforts of the G.77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Developing Countries to promote South-South Cooperation in its various field of activities and invite the chambers of commerce to keep the Office of the Chairman of the Group in New York inform of the progress being made..
"We also acknowledge that the smooth operation of the GSTP Agreement and the conduct of the Second Round of GSTP Negotiations constitute historic developments of long-lasting political and economic significance. The successful outcome of these negotiations would serve as a catalyst for a growing preferential trade market among the members of the Group of 77 and would impact favorably on the world economy as a whole. All efforts should be made to support the GSTP and to ensure its expansion in terms of membership and scope of trade concessions."