United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined over 30 heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, and Latin America at this two-day gathering in Havana.
Leaders from the G77+China, a coalition of developing and emerging nations representing 80 percent of the world’s population, have convened in Cuba for a summit, issuing a call to reform the existing global order.
The meeting takes place amid growing discontent with the Western-dominated world system, fueled by disagreements over the Russian conflict in Ukraine, combating climate change, and shaping the global economic framework.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel inaugurated the summit, asserting that it was time for the Southern nations to reshape the rules that have long favored the North. He emphasized that developing countries bear the brunt of a “multidimensional crisis,” ranging from exploitative trade practices to the impacts of global warming.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined over 30 heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, and Latin America at this two-day gathering in Havana. In his address, he stressed the need for a world that is more attuned to the requirements of developing economies, emphasizing their entanglement in a web of global crises.
Established in 1964, the G77 was formed by 77 countries of the global South to advance their collective economic interests and bolster their joint negotiating capacity. Presently, it boasts 134 members, including China, which asserts a non-full membership status.
Cuba, which assumed the rotating presidency in January, played host to the summit. Leaders from Latin American nations such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, and Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez, along with figures like Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Angola’s Joao Lourenco, and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, were present. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also arrived for the proceedings.
China was represented by senior Communist Party official Li Xi, who affirmed his nation’s commitment to prioritizing South-South cooperation in its global engagements.
Argentina’s Fernandez pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic marked a transformative moment by highlighting the disparities in vaccine access, noting that “90 percent of vaccines were in the hands of 10 countries.”
The summit is expected to conclude with a declaration underscoring “the right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust, and exploitative international order,” as outlined by the host nation’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez.
Guterres has recently participated in several multilateral gatherings, including the G20 summit in India and the BRICS meeting, which encompasses Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
He cautioned that the increasing multipolarity in global affairs could potentially lead to heightened geostrategic tensions with grave consequences.
The G77 summit follows significant shifts in global blocs, including the African Union’s inclusion in the G20, a group of the world’s most influential economies, and the expansion of the BRICS trade group to incorporate six new members.
The presence of world leaders in Cuba is seen as an acknowledgment of the Cuban government’s stature, even amid the nation’s most severe economic crisis in three decades, according to experts.
“Cuba has been recognized as a valid interlocutor, despite the difficulties of the moment,” noted Cuban international relations expert Arturo Lopez-Levy, a visiting professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid.
The communist-led island continues to grapple with U.S. sanctions initially imposed in 1962. In recent months, Diaz-Canel has represented the G77+China at various international gatherings, including a global financial summit in Paris in June and a meeting with the European Union in July involving Latin American and Caribbean states.