The South seeks formulas to narrow the technological gap at the G77+China summit, which begins today in Havana, Cuba .
Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa
Juan Palop | EFE
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Leer en español: Empieza la cumbre G77+China: El Sur busca cómo estrechar la brecha tecnológica con el Norte
Narrowing the technological gap between the North and the South is the objective of the summit of the Group of 77 and China that is being held this Friday and Saturday in Havana, an event with the challenge of going beyond achieving common rhetoric in a such diverse forum.
The summit , in which around thirty heads of state and more than a hundred delegations participate, represents, according to many experts, a diplomatic success for Havana, but also an enormous logistical and economic challenge for the island, in the midst of a deep crisis.
In addition to presidents such as the Brazilian Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Argentine Alberto Fernández and the Colombian Gustavo Petro, the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, is scheduled to attend, who in just 24 hours in Cuba will address the plenary session and meet with the president of the country, Miguel Díaz-Canel .
Claudia Marín, an expert at the International Policy Research Center (CIPI) of Cuba, highlighted in a recent press conference the need for "the countries of the south" to "resolve" the "deepened gaps" that separate them from the industrialized countries in innovation, science and technology.
This was especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marín elaborated, when developing nations had "tremendous difficulties in accessing vaccines and addressing their health problems". It is also true in the area of global warming.
The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, assured this Wednesday at a press conference that his country hopes that the summit "contributes to enhancing the voice of the G77+China in the current international situation, as part of the relevant intergovernmental negotiation processes" planned for the next weeks.
He also called on industrialized countries to "not underestimate the value" of the summit's message and the "weight" of their members in the UN. He also urged them to fulfill their "commitments" regarding development aid, external debt and financing.
The pro tempore presidency of the G77+China, in the hands of Cuba this year, speaks along these lines of "making the right to development a reality" and denounces that "a club of countries" monopolizes "the majority of patents, technologies, research centers" while "promoting the drain of talent" from the South.
"Cuba believes it is a priority to unite, complement each other, and integrate our national capabilities so as not to be left behind in the face of future pandemics," say the press materials released by Havana. EFE's request to interview the organizers of the summit has not been answered.
Cuba, as host and sponsor of this extraordinary summit, is expected to propose more than fifteen South-South cooperation projects in the field of innovation, science and technology, with an emphasis on the health and biotechnology sectors.
The other side of the coin at this summit is expected to be the common demand for industrialized countries to contribute to the development of the South, mainly through technology transfer.
The meeting in Havana is for many of the participating delegations the first stage of an international tour that will conclude a few days later in New York, where the Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the General Assembly will be held shortly. of the United Nations.
In Cuba, in addition to Guterres, Lula, Petro and Fernández, other heads of state from Latin America are expected, such as the Honduran Xiomara Castro, the Bolivian Luis Arce and the Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, as well as leaders from twenty more countries.
On behalf of Beijing, the member of the standing committee of the politburo of the Communist Party of China and the top person responsible for combating corruption, Li Xi, is expected to attend Havana.
In addition, vice presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and ministers from dozens of countries have been arriving in Cuba for days, from Singapore and Chile to South Africa and Mongolia, passing through Iran and Vietnam.
The G77+China, the largest forum for consultation and dialogue within the UN, brings together all of Latin America and the Caribbean -except Mexico-, Africa, the Middle East and a large part of Asia -without Russia-. It is currently made up of 134 countries, which represent 80% of the world's population and two-thirds of the members of the United Nations.