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G77+China Aims for ‘New Economic World Order’ in Havana Summit

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EIRNS—The two-day G77+China Summit, for which Cuba is the presiding nation for 2023, began in Havana yesterday. The Summit theme is, “Challenges to Development: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Development.” At least 30 heads of state are attending in person out of the 130 member nations, in addition to 100 delegations. Included among the heads of state are Brazilian President Lula da Silva, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, several African and Middle Eastern nations among others. Representing Chinese President Xi Jinping, is Li Xi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel opened the summit together with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The Cuban President first pointed to the austere nature of the event due, he said, to the effects on Cuba of the more than sixty years of the U.S. economic blockade. Listing the ills from which the nations of the South suffer—poverty, misery, hunger, death from curable diseases—Díaz Canel denounced the current world order as “unjust and unsustainable.” It’s time, he said, for the “pending democratization of the system of international relations” to finally be realized. It’s time “to end the centuries of colonial and neocolonial dependence, and tear down the barriers that have obstructed developing nations’ access to knowledge.”

In his address to the summit, Guterres began with a call for the creation of a new global financial architecture, and said that institutions like the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank reflect a “past era” in which many developing nations were “chained by colonial domination”. The global financial architecture “should respond more to the needs of developing countries,” he said. Speeches are expected from 57 participants. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the summit would end tomorrow with a statement “defending the right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust and plundering international order.”

In the foyer of the Havana Convention Palace where the summit is being held, there is a wonderful exhibit of six decades of Cuban development (in Spanish) in the areas of science, technology and innovation. Because of the U.S. economic blockade, Cuba was forced to build its own scientific capabilities in areas such as biotechnology which are admired internationally. Teresita Vicente, in charge of academic and cultural relations at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, told Xinhua “I don’t think the development of the nations of the South would be complete if they didn’t take science, technology and innovation into account.”