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G77 summit in Cuba calls for ‘new economic world order’ amid global crises

Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel speaks during the inaugural session of the G77+China Summit at the Convention Palace in Havana on September 15, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Group of 77 plus China, which is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing and emerging countries, has called for a “new economic world order” amid worsening crises across the globe.

The G77+China, a 134-member organization representing 80 percent of the world’s population, launched a summit in the Cuban capital of Havana on Friday and called on the Global South to “change the rules of the game.”

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel pointed to various global issues, such as the war in Ukraine, the fight against climate change and the world economic system, among many others.

“After all this time that the North has organized the world according to its interests, it is now up to the South to change the rules of the game,” Diaz-Canel said, adding that the developing countries were the main victims of a “multidimensional crisis” in the world from “abusive unequal trade” to global warming.

The Cuban president called for a world that was “more representative and responsive to the needs of developing economies,” underlining that these countries were “trapped in a tangle of global crises.”

Established by 77 countries of the Global South in 1964, the bloc aims “to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity,” according to the group’s website.

The website lists China as one of its 134 members although Beijing says it is not a full member.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, whose county took over the rotating presidency in January, told reporters that the summit would conclude on Saturday with a statement underscoring “the right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust and plundering international order.”

Rodriguez added that a draft of the closing statement underlines the many obstacles facing developing nations and includes “a call for the establishment of a new economic world order.”

China’s Communist Party official Li Xi, who represents Beijing at the summit, stressed that his country “will always make South-South cooperation a priority” in its dealings with the outside world.

Over the past decade, the world countries have gravitated towards new alliances to tackle economic crises and wean themselves off a US-led unipolarity interspersed with imperialistic models of development.

The G77 summit in Havana comes after key changes in global blocs, with the African Union having joined the G20 group of the world’s most powerful economies, and the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – group of emerging economies planning to admit six new members.

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