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G77+China Summit Convenes in Cuba to Pursue a New Global Economic Order

The G77+China, a coalition representing developing and emerging nations that account for 80 percent of the world’s population, has gathered in Cuba with the aim of advocating for a “new economic world order” amidst concerns of increasing polarization. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who arrived in Cuba on Thursday, is joining approximately 30 heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, and Latin America for the two-day summit in Havana.

The summit is expected to culminate with a declaration highlighting “the right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust and exploitative international order,” according to Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez. A draft of the closing statement emphasizes the numerous challenges facing developing nations and calls for the establishment of a new economic world order.

Established in 1964 by 77 countries from the Global South, the G77 aimed to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and strengthen their negotiating power. Today, it counts 134 members, including China, although China describes itself as a non-full member.

Cuba assumed the rotating presidency of the G77 in January, and the presence of world leaders in Cuba signifies a recognition of the Cuban government despite the country grappling with its most severe economic crisis in three decades. Cuba continues to contend with US sanctions imposed since 1962.

The summit’s theme revolves around the role of “science, technology, and innovation” in development, with a focus on advancing the 2030 Agenda—a set of UN goals encompassing poverty alleviation, hunger eradication, climate change mitigation, and more.

While the world faces growing multipolarity, Guterres has cautioned that this trend could lead to heightened geostrategic tensions. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel affirmed the commitment to multilateralism, cooperation, and development, underscoring the importance of this summit in the current global context.

Several prominent leaders, including Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Gustavo Petro of Colombia, and Alberto Fernandez of Argentina, are expected to participate in the summit. China will be represented by senior Communist Party official Li Xi.