Iwas in my early forties when the Group of 77 (G-77) was established. Together with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), it was a symbol of the aspiration of developing countries for emancipation, economic and political inde-pendence, and development. It was a collective means and undertaking to help attain these interrelated objectives, and to give a role in the world arena and international affairs to the newly emerged nations and the states on the world periphery. Today, fifty years later, I am in my early nineties, and I am happy to witness the fact that the original, underlying rationale and objectives which led to the formation of the G-77 retain their validity and continued relevance.
I see the G-77 as a symbol of the quest for and an essential element of the democratization of international relations, of the United Nations and of the UN system. It is a vehicle to give a voice and influence to developing countries, the overwhelming majority of which remain marginal on the world scene and do not have individually the power or importance to be heard and paid attention to, and even less to have an impact on what happens in world affairs. For them, in a world system where hegemony and exercise of raw power continue to prevail, the only way to transcend to a degree their peripheral and dependent position, to matter and be counted, is through group action and South-South cooperation.
This is the cardinal importance of the G-77, and indeed of NAM, in world affairs, and for democratization of international relations.
Towards the end of my mandate as the United Nations Secretary-General, we issued an Agenda for Democratization, an important document which, given the evolution of geopolitics at that time, was largely overlooked and did not receive the policy attention it deserved.
Possibly, it was the wrong moment and period for such a document to be crafted and made public. But, the issue of democratization of international relations and overcoming the great power hegemony is topical...