Amid the rising prominence of the "Global South," following the much-watched BRICS and G20 summits, the "G77 + China" also held a summit. Contrasting the developed "Global North," the "Global South" represents a vast group of developing and emerging countries.
On September 16th, local time, after two days of discussions, the "G77 + China" summit concluded in the Cuban capital with the adoption of the "Havana Declaration." This 47-point declaration reaffirms the group's long-standing call for establishing a new global order, rejects digital monopolies, and calls for financial system reforms. It also emphasizes the crucial role of science, technology, and innovation.
Additionally, the summit agreed to Mexico's re-entry into the "G77 + China" mechanism. Mexico, an original member of the G77, had previously withdrawn under U.S. pressure.
Originating in the 1960s under the auspices of the United Nations, the G77 has seen China's full participation since the 1990s, leading to the "G77 + China" cooperative model. The group now includes 134 countries, covering two-thirds of UN member states and representing 80% of the global population. This summit attracted delegations from over a hundred countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The group's long-standing demand for a more equitable global order, previously overlooked, is gaining attention due to the growing strength of its member countries and the significant attention the BRICS summit brought to the Global South.
The "Havana Declaration" expresses deep concern about the unprecedented challenges the current inequitable international economic order poses to developing countries. These challenges include the ongoing negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, unilateral coercive measures, and multiple crises in economics, finance, food, energy, climate, and debt. These global issues disproportionately affect the Global South, yet there's no clear roadmap to address them.
In his opening remarks, Guterres acknowledged that the Global South is "entangled in a web of global crises." He emphasized the need for national-level actions to ensure good governance, mobilize resources, prioritize sustainable development, and establish an international system that upholds human rights and mutual interests.
Cuba's leader, Díaz-Canel, commented on the current global situation, emphasizing the importance of collaboration, saying that everyone is on the same ship, some as passengers and some as servants. To prevent this ship from sinking like the Titanic, cooperation is the only way.
Financially, the declaration stresses the urgent need for comprehensive reforms of the international financial architecture, promoting more inclusive and coordinated global financial governance. It emphasizes inter-state cooperation, especially increasing representation of developing countries in global decision-making and policy.
The declaration also underscores the importance of technology and its inequities, criticizing digital monopolies and other unfair practices hindering the technological development of developing countries. It points out that a fair international order cannot be established without ending the technological dominance of developed countries.
The Cuban leader cited UN data, highlighting this inequality, stating that 10 countries hold 90% of the world's advanced digital production technology patents and 70% of exports.
The "Havana Declaration" calls on the international community, the UN system, and international financial institutions to support the Global South's efforts to develop and strengthen national science, technology, and innovation systems. It also urges developed countries to urgently mobilize necessary technology transfers, technical assistance, capacity building, and financing, providing new, additional, and predictable resources to meet the needs of developing countries.
The declaration opposes technological monopolies and other unfair practices hindering the technological development of developing countries. It calls for an open, fair, inclusive, and non-discriminatory environment for technological development.
The "Havana Declaration" also opposes the implementation of extraterritorial laws and regulations and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries. It reiterates the urgent need to eliminate these measures immediately.
Besides emphasizing the importance of "North-South cooperation," the declaration also underscores the necessity of "South-South cooperation," encouraging discussions on establishing new platforms for South-South technological innovation cooperation and exchange. September 16th is designated as the Global South's Science, Technology, and Innovation Day.
According to the host country, another purpose of the summit is to coordinate actions and seek common positions, enabling the Global South to present a unified voice to the international community.
On September 19th, local time, the 78th United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York. Some experts emphasize the importance of "G77 + China" in coordinating internal joint positions to enhance their ability to defend their rights at the UN General Assembly.
Claudia Marin, a researcher at the Cuban International Policy Research Center (CIPI), noted in an interview with Brazilian media that many countries within the group have gained significant international influence over the past 20 years, especially the BRICS. Only through greater South-South cooperation can a more equitable international system be established.