News / World

Ecuador takes chair of UN group of 134 developing countries

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, left, observes as Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, right, hands over the chairmanship of the United Nations Group of 77 to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, center, Friday Jan. 13, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, left, observes as Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, right, hands over the chairmanship of the United Nations Group of 77 to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, center, Friday Jan. 13, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as chair of the Group of 77 which promotes the interests of the 134 developing countries it represents at the United Nations, including China.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa told Friday's handover ceremony that the group will continue promoting "social and economic equality."

He said this can only be done if "poverty, inequality and exclusion" are eradicated and people live with "sovereignty, dignity and in peace."

Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said his country focused in 2016 on how to implement the 17 U.N. goals for 2030 to promote development and good governance, and preserve the environment.

New Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the G-77 is his "preferred forum" to implement his vision including seeing the new goals become reality and reforming U.N. operations.