On September 15th and 16th, the G77+ China Summit will be held in Havana with the aim of agreeing common positions and demands in terms of cooperation, development and multilateralism. It is the largest intergovernmental organization of countries in the Global South within the United Nations (UN).
“The summit aims to evaluate and debate the main challenges and central issues in the development of the nations of the South (Global) and the indispensable contribution of science, technology and innovation to development”, declared Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, at a press conference on Wednesday (13).
Rodríguez added that “we hope that the upcoming summit in Havana will contribute to strengthening the voice of the G77 + China in the current international situation, as part of the relevant intergovernmental negotiation processes that will take place soon. This includes the Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals; the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP28 (…)”.
What is the G77?
The Group of 77 countries was founded in 1964, when a joint declaration was signed in Geneva, at the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This declaration defended the interests of these 77 countries from the Global South in relation to the international trade system.
As time went by, other countries joined. Cuba joined in 1971 and China in 1992. It is currently a coalition of 134 member states, representing 80% of the world’s population.
Participation in the summit
The event will be attended by more than one hundred high-level diplomatic and government delegations from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, will participate in the inauguration of the event, alongside the President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.
In confirming his participation, Guterres assured that “if we do not act now, the Sustainable Development Goals could become the epitaph of a world that could have been. This issue is of vital importance for the G77 and for China.” He also said his presence was focused on “ensuring that multilateralism benefits all countries.”
One of the most anticipated figures on the island is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will arrive in Cuba after several months of diplomatic and commercial rapprochement between the two countries. The Brazilian president’s presence on the island means a resumption of historic relations between the two countries, after having been interrupted during Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency.
Among the Latin American presidents who will participate in the event are the leaders of Argentina (Alberto Fernández), Bolivia (Luis Arce), Colombia (Gustavo Arce), among others. The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and delegations from India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, among others, will also participate.
What is expected from the summit?
Consulted by Brasil de Fato, Claudia Marin, researcher at the Center for International Policy Research, states that “holding the summit is, in itself, a diplomatic victory for Cuba in the face of the blockade policy.”
“The fact that delegations from all over the world come to Havana to discuss issues so important to the Global South shows the enormous diplomatic capacity that Cuba has managed to build,” he adds.
According to the Center for International Policy Research, for months Cuba has been collecting and building the consensus necessary for the final declaration, which is outlined in the draft: “Current development challenges: the role of science, technology and innovation.”
The declaration, which is expected to be adopted on Saturday the 16th, includes the most urgent issues and demands with the aim of reducing the technological and scientific gap between the global north and south. Thus, the objective is to coordinate actions and proposals to be made together in international organizations.
Editing: Thales Schmidt