President Rafael Correa travels to United Nations headquarters in New York this week to accept Ecuador’s presidency of the G77 group of nations. Ecuador takes over the one-year rotating leadership role from Thailand.
According to Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, Ecuador will use its role to promote economic justice, especially the elimination of so-called tax havens which allow wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes.
“We see this as an opportunity to push an agenda for international fiscal responsibility,” Long says. “Too much of the world’s wealth is being diverted from the countries where it is generated for the purpose of avoiding taxes. We see tax havens as an attack on social justice since money that should go to benefit the people is going into private pockets instead.”
Long said leadership of the G77 represents Ecuador’s biggest role on the world stage since it held the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly in 1973. “We are honored to have this opportunity and hope to make the most of it,” he said.
Despite the name, the G77 actually represents 134 mostly developing nations, plus China, and was created by the UN to counter balance the influence of European and North American countries on such issues as trade and human rights.