HAVANA – The G-77+China, a group of developing and emerging countries representing 80 per cent of the world’s population, kicked off a summit in Cuba on Friday with a call to “change the rules of the game” of the global order.
The meeting comes at a time of growing frustration with the Western-led world order amid widening differences over Russia’s war in Ukraine, the fight against climate change, and the global economic system.
“After all this time that the North has organised the world according to its interests, it is now up to the South to change the rules of the game,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said, at the opening of the summit.
Mr Diaz-Canel said that developing countries were the main victims of a “multidimensional crisis” in the world today, from “abusive unequal trade” to global warming.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres is joining some 30 heads of state and government from Africa, Asia and Latin America at the two-day summit in Havana.
At the opening of the meeting he called for a world that was “more representative and responsive to the needs of developing economies”, stressing that these countries were “trapped in a tangle of global crises.”
The bloc was established by 77 countries of the global South in 1964 “to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity,” according to the group’s website.
Today, it has 134 members, among which the website lists China although the Asian giant says it is not a full member.
Cuba took over the rotating presidency in January.
Latin American leaders such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, and Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez were present at the summit, alongside Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Angola’s Joao Lourenco and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will arrive on Friday night.
‘Unjust’ international order
China is represented by top Communist Party official Li Xi, who said his country “will always make South-South” cooperation a priority” in its dealings with the outside world.
The meeting should conclude on Saturday with a statement underscoring “the right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust and plundering international order,” the foreign minister of host Cuba, Mr Bruno Rodriguez, told reporters on Wednesday.
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