The G77 China summit ended on Saturday in Havana with a call for “unity” to weigh against rich countries, with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva urging them to strengthen “claims” concerning digital technology and the transition energy.

“Global governance remains asymmetrical. The United Nations, the Bretton Woods system and the WTO are losing credibility. We cannot divide ourselves,” declared the Brazilian president.

“We must strengthen our demands in light of the fourth industrial revolution,” added the leader of the largest Latin American economy, referring to the rise of digital technology, artificial intelligence and biotechnologies.

For Lula da Silva, the “digital revolution” and “the energy transition” are “two major transformations underway”. “They cannot be shaped by a handful of rich economies, re-editing the relationship of dependence between the center and the periphery.”

The G77 China summit, made up of countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America which represent 80% of the world’s population, began Friday in Havana. The Group, created in 1964 by 77 countries, now includes 134 nations. China participated as an external actor.

Representatives from around a hundred countries were present in Havana for this extraordinary summit whose theme was the “role of science, technology and innovation” in development.

Around thirty heads of state and government made the trip, including the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, the Colombian Gustavo Petro, the Angolan João Lourenço, the Rwandan Paul Kagame, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

UN Secretary Antonio Guterres was present.

During the inaugural speech, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, whose country has held the rotating presidency of the group since January, called for “changing the rules of the international economic game”, according to him “hostile to progress” in southern countries.

Several speakers spoke of the global inequalities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to reduce the debt of the poorest countries to finance the climate transition.

In their final declaration, the members of the G77 China reaffirmed their “commitment to strengthening the unity” of the group to “consolidate its role in the international arena”.

They reiterated the “urgent need to fundamentally reform the international financial architecture” to make it “more inclusive and more coordinated.”

“We note with great concern that the serious problems that the international economic order causes, because it is unfair, to developing countries have reached their peak,” they write.

They cite in particular the consequences of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, inflation, loss of biodiversity, financial crises, “without a clear road map to face these global problems” .

The Group, which will be chaired in 2024 by Uganda, also calls for “elevating the representation of developing countries in global decision-making bodies.”

Its members adopted a second declaration which “welcomes the request of the government of Mexico to resume its activities” within the G77 China, announced at a press conference, Rodolfo Benitez, director of Multilateral Affairs of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mexico, which left the Group in the 1990s, expressed on Saturday, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Barcenas, its wish to rejoin this forum.

17/09/2023 08:42:59 –         Havana (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP