President Ramkalawan joins heads of state and government at the G77+China Summit in Cuba |16 September 2023
Seychelles’ president, Wavel Ramkalawan, has joined leaders of developing and emerging countries representing 80 percent of the global population for the G77+China summit taking place in Havana, Cuba.
President Ramkalawan was yesterday welcomed at the summit by the Cuban president, Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel, for the two-day summit under the theme ‘Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation’.
Yesterday’s official opening included key address by the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, who stressed on the important role that science, technology and innovation can play to forge solidarity, solve common problems, and help to make the sustainable development goals (SDGs) a reality.
He stated that despite this, today they frequently inflame inequalities and entrench divisions, citing how richer countries hoarded Covid vaccines as an example, while the pandemic ran rampant in the Global South.
“And Africans in particular pay three times more the global average for data, while tech titans amass unimaginable wealth. Only global action can tackle these inequalities, secure a just transition to a digital economy, and ensure that in a new technological era, no one is left behind. Our proposed Global Digital Compact can achieve exactly that,” stated Mr Guterres.
He explained that it aims to bring together governments and industry to ensure that technology works for all humanity and accelerates the SDGs.
“New rules for new technologies cannot just be written by the wealthy and the privileged. My High-Level Body on Artificial Intelligence – which includes experts from G77 countries – will report this year, so member states can consider forms of justice in global governance options for artificial intelligence. And we count on the G77 to put the interests of developing countries firmly on the table,” said the secretary general.
He stated that another area for urgent global action was finance as many developing countries are unable to service their debts, as they continue to suffer from the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis, and extreme climate impacts that deprive their communities of basic needs.
He said that many countries present at the summit did not have the finance to invest in technology, sustainable development, debt recovery, or climate action.
Mr Guterres stated that the world needed climate justice as much as it needed financial justice and developed countries must deliver the promised $100 billion, double adaptation finance by 2025, and recapitalise the Green Climate Fund.
The G77+China summit will be followed by the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) in New York, under the theme, ‘Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and the sustainability for all’.
Compiled by Patsy Canaya