Fri Feb 24, 2017 05:44PM
The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, Reza Najafi
The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, Reza Najafi

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, Reza Najafi, has assumed the chairmanship of the Vienna Chapter of Group of 77 for 2017.

Najafi took over as the group’s chairman from Namibia for one year during a ceremony held at the United Nations Office in Vienna on Friday in the presence of heads of international bodies and a number of ambassadors and representatives from different countries.

Speaking at the meeting, Najafi stressed the importance of defending the principles, interests, values and objectives of the G-77 Vienna Chapter.

He expounded on the purposes and priorities of the chapter in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and urged bolstering cooperation and the provision of technical assistance to developing countries.

The Iranian envoy also called for strengthening international relations, particularly South-South Cooperation, a term used to refer to the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano congratulated Iran on assuming the chairmanship. 

"G-77 countries are extremely important partners for the IAEA. You are active collaborators in everything we do," he said.

The office of the G-77 in Vienna, which was inaugurated on 19 May 1998, provides support services for the preparation of meetings for the UN organizations based in Vienna International Center (VIC), such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and UNIDO. The office serves as an institutional memory to members of G-77, keeping documents and minutes of meetings and other relevant information for member states to consult.

The Vienna Chapter of G-77 also prepares statements, joint declarations, action programs and agreements, and proposes the creation of formal and informal groups of consultation and discussion.

The Group of 77 was established on June 15, 1964 by 77 developing countries signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

Although the members of the G-77 have increased to 134 countries, the original name was retained due to its historic significance.

The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the UN system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.

Iran held the presidency of the G-77 in 1973-74.