The Global South Summit: Leaders Call for Democratization and Global Cooperation

2023-09-16 16:08:33

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Nicolás Maduro and Miguel Díaz Canel at the Havana Convention Center, on September 15, 2023.

Author, RedacciónRole, BBC News Mundo

3 hours

“The world is failing developing countries.”

This was stated by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, within the framework of a two-day summit in which heads of state and government of the G77+China Group participated and which ended this Saturday in Havana, Cuba.

Likewise, Guterres called on developing countries to “raise their voices to fight for a world that works for everyone” and added that the new rules for new technologies “cannot be written only by the rich and the privileged.” .

The G77 was established by 77 countries in 1964 in order to promote the collective economic interests of the so-called Global South.

The group today has 134 members, including China, although Beijing assures that it is not a full member.

The summit held between September 15 and 16 featured the participation of Nicolás Maduro from Venezuela, Gustavo Petro from Colombia and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from Brazil, among other leaders from Latin America and the world.

In this article we give you a summary of his most notable statements.

1. Díaz-Canel and his call for “democratization”

In addition to Guterrez’s speech, another leader who made headlines was the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who denounced injustices in international organizations.

The Cuban leader also recalled previous calls from Latin American leaders to “democratize the UN.”

“Fidel Castro’s warnings that ‘tomorrow will be too late’, and an unforgettable phrase from Commander Hugo Chávez, when he said that ‘we presidents walk from summit to summit and the people from abyss to abyss,'” he added.

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After ensuring that the countries of the Global South are the “main victims” of economic and trade crises, as well as the effects of climate change, the Cuban president called for the reform of multilateral institutions.

“We now demand the pending democratization of the system of international relations,” he continued.

“It is necessary to reverse this condition into which centuries of colonial and neocolonial dependence plunged us, because it is not fair and because the South no longer bears the dead weight of all the misfortunes.”

2. Petro’s global “Marshall Plan”

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, focused his speech on the climate crisis affecting the world and reiterated the need to implement a “Marshall Plan” on a global scale to save it.

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The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, with Miguel Díaz Canel.

The president also defended his proposal for a “universal negotiation for the change of a new global financial system.”

He assured that to reduce debt and finance the decarbonized economy there are two alternatives: capital and debt and that the United States and Europe only propose that developing countries take on more debt.

“Many members of the G77 passively accept this path,” he lamented.

On the other hand, Petro warned that if humanity does not act, it faces a “very violent world” and an exodus that could reach 3,000 million people, citing scientific models.

“If it is already (violent) when the flow is barely 10, 80 million migrants, what will it be like when there are 3,000 billion? What will the world be like when the lands of the big cities of our countries are uninhabitable? How “What will politics be like? What will society be like? Will there be democracy or will there be barbarism?”

3. Maduro: the 21st century belongs to the people of the South

After his official visit to China, in which he caused noise after asking a Hong Kong journalist to speak Mandarin and not English because we are in “a new world,” the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, assured that the 21st century is “of the peoples of the South”.

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Gustavo Petro and Nicolás Maduro.

From the Havana Convention Center, Maduro highlighted the need for the countries of the South to forge their “own paths and political models and not accept the dictates of any power with colonial or domination claims.”

“The 21st century must be our century of highest-level practical cooperation in education, science and technology,” he continued.

He also praised the inclusivity of the G77 + China.

“This is our home, this is our family. This is the space where we are all equal. Where no one tries to impose themselves, dominate, encourage, despise, exclude anyone.”

The Venezuelan president urged the G77 + China to “raise their voice more forcefully” and say: “Enough of the persecution against the people of the world who want to build their own models.”

4. Lula: Latin America must “seek a common position”

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, highlighted the need for Southern countries to forge a common position that takes into account the concerns of developing countries.

He specified that there are “two great transformations” underway that cannot be shaped by “a handful of rich economies.”

“The first is the digital revolution and the second is the energy transition. Our countries need to have the necessary conditions to respond to these changes,” he said.

The Brazilian leader added that Latin America must “seek a common position to face the challenges of the current international context.”

Likewise, he celebrated the “diversity” of the G77 and highlighted its importance for “the construction of a New International Economic Order.”

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