Group of 77 and China: The Urgency of Unity (+Audio)

In 1964, Third World countries came together and decided to promote common positions in the world economy. Since then, pressing issues have been identified for underdeveloped countries, which, as they still do, claim the right to economic and social development.

In the following years, other peoples achieved their independence, and new members joined the Group of 77 and the Asian country China, which joined in 1992.

However, more than five decades after its emergence, in the face of the current economic order, which has given rise to major conflicts and challenges, the concerns and constraints of this group have not persisted and have intensified.

Economy, health, climate, energy, food, society… We live in times of systemic crisis, with geopolitical tensions and increasing forms of hegemony among the most powerful countries on the entire planet, in the middle of it all. .

As Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz warned at the group’s first summit in Havana in April 2000, for the countries of the South, today „region-by-region gaps in development and access to technologies and knowledge remain unequal. Urgent structural reform of the international financial framework and measures to address global food insecurity are key issues.” Added to this.

In a more complicated situation for the world, Cuba accepted the provisional presidency of the Group of 77 and pro-China in January this year, the first time the Greater Antilles has chaired this negotiating body of developing countries.

On that occasion, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee and President of the Republic, issued a message in which he affirmed his country’s commitment to peace and the just struggle of the people, saying, „It will always be a time of solidarity, but today is an imperative, the greatest of all emergencies!

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„Count on Cuba and its unwavering commitment to work tirelessly, together with all members of this essential group, in protecting the highest interests of our countries,” the president said.

Later he said in his speech: „Cuba also believes in you, and believes that the spirit of unity and solidarity that gave birth to the Group of 77 prevails over the petty interests of those who seek to maintain immovably the current unjust economic system. .”

After nearly sixty years, experts consider that the Group of 77 and China have converged on diversity as the guiding principle of South-South cooperation strategies, despite significant cultural, geographic, economic and social differences and policies. of the host countries.

Since 1971, the year that marks the date of incorporation of these countries into the bloc, Cuba has actively participated and contributed to the equitable development between the countries, its contributions in various fields to promote this cooperation are significant.

The concept of unity was permanently preserved, especially during the months of the Cuban presidency in the group, whose work and activities were conducted in a constructive manner, promoting broad consensus and complementarity.

Faced with this reality, with all its limitations in the external and internal spheres of Cuba, the largest Caribbean island – 77 and China in its capacity as chairman of the group – Summoned For the Summit of Heads of State and Government on „Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation” to be held in Havana on September 15 and 16.

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In the face of contemporary challenges, as President Díaz-Canel said in his call to the upcoming meeting: „Every minute is important in finding solutions to the pressing problems of our people.”

At the first Summit of the Nations of the South held in Cuba in 2000, as the Century of Hope for Humanity began, the priorities and mechanisms of this group of nations were re-enforced and renewed. For more than two decades, the issues have escalated and unity is the order of the day in these difficult times.

Of course, in the Group of 77 and China, diversity cannot be a weakness, but rather a strength. This weekend in the Cuban capital is no doubt a protected prelude.

77 Group and China Key Data:

  • The Group of 77 and China are the largest group of developing countries within the United Nations system. It is the most diverse consultative body in the multilateral sphere with 134 member states representing two-thirds of the membership of the United Nations and 80% of the world’s population.
  • The group came into being after signing the „Joint Declaration of Seventy-seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in Geneva on June 15, 1964. . It was created with the aim of stimulating the economic interests of the constituent countries and strengthening the capacity for collective negotiation within the UN.
  • The group of 77 and China currently has 134 states, after the entry of South Sudan in March 2015; But it maintains its original name for historical reasons. As for China – which joined in 1992 – although it is considered an official member, it participates and cooperates externally.
  • Cuba joined the group in 1971. In January 2023, it assumed its pro-presidential position for the first time.
  • The first ministerial meeting of the Group of 77, held in Algeria from October 10 to 25, 1967, since the adoption of the Algiers Charter, created a permanent organizational structure that led to the creation of chapters of the Group of 77 in conjunction. Offices in Geneva (UNCTAD), Nairobi (UNEP), Paris (UNESCO), Rome (FAO/IFAD), Vienna (UNIDO), and Washington, DC (IMF and World Bank) 24 (G-24).
  • The presidency, the highest political body within the institutional framework of the Group of 77 and China, rotates by region (between Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean) and lasts one year in all chapters. Acting as its spokesperson, the president coordinates the committee’s activities in each chapter.
  • The South Summit is the highest decision-making body of the Group of 77 and China, according to the Mechanism’s operating rules, and its first summit was held in Havana from April 10 to 14, 2000.
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President Díaz-Canel assumed the post of interim chairman of the board in January 2023.
Angelica Paredes Lopez | EP142

77 The Group and China: The Urgency of Unity

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