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Declaration of the Summit of Heads of State of the G77 and China

Action alertsDeclaration of the Summit of Heads of State of the G77 and China

Havana, Cuba September 15 and 16, 2023

photo: Abel Padrón Padilla

The summit held in Havana was attended by more than 1,300 participants from 116 countries and 12 organizations and agencies of the United Nations system. Thirty-three nations from Latin America and the Caribbean, 46 from Africa, 34 from Asia and three from Europe were represented. Thirty-one heads of state and government, 12 vice presidents, dozens of ministers from multiple portfolios and other high-level dignitaries participated.

We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Group of 77 and China, meeting in Havana, Cuba, on September 15 and 16, 2023, on the occasion of the Summit of the Group on Current Development Challenges: Role of Science, Technology and Innovation, convinced of the urgent need to act together, reaffirm our full adherence to the spirit, principles and objectives of the Group of 77 and China.

We also reaffirm the commitment to strengthen the unity and solidarity of the Group in order to achieve its objectives and to reinforce its role in the current international context. We reaffirm full respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

We deeply regret the loss of human and material lives following the recent natural phenomena that impacted Libya and Morocco. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the respective peoples and governments and to the families and relatives of the victims in both nations.

We note with deep concern that the major challenges generated by the current unfair international economic order for developing countries have reached their most acute expression at present due to, inter alia, the persistent negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the lifting of the WHO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for COVID-19; geopolitical tensions; unilateral coercive measures and the current multiple crises, including the economic and financial crises; the fragility of the global economic outlook; increasing pressure on food, energy; displacement of people; market volatility; inflation; monetary adjustment; growing external debt burden; increasing extreme poverty; increasing inequalities within and between countries; and the adverse effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, sand and dust storms and environmental degradation, as well as digital divides, with no clear roadmap to address these global challenges so far.

We also express our deep concern about the illness, death and continuing socio-economic disruption and devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further exacerbated stark inequalities within and between countries and regions, with a disproportionate impact on developing countries. This situation underscores the urgency of strengthening global solidarity and international cooperation with and support for developing countries to prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics and other health emergencies, taking into account the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We underscore the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the international financial architecture and a more inclusive and coordinated approach to global financial governance, with greater emphasis on cooperation among countries, including through increased representation of developing countries in global decision-making and policy-making bodies, which will contribute to enhancing the capacities of developing countries to access and develop science, technology and innovation.

We reiterate the firm conviction that all States and stakeholders should collectively dedicate themselves to the pursuit of global development and “win-win” scientific and technological development cooperation, based on broad consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits, which can bring enormous benefits to all countries and all parts of the world in building a community of shared future for humankind.

We reject the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries, and reiterate the urgent need to eliminate them immediately. We underscore that such actions not only undermine the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and international law, but constitute a serious obstacle to the advancement of science, technology and innovation and the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

Furthermore, we emphasize that unilateral coercive measures have a negative and devastating impact on the enjoyment of human rights, including the right to development and the right to food. Such measures also hinder the access of affected countries to health care, humanitarian aid and supplies, and nationally owned assets.

We reject technological monopolies and other unfair practices that hinder the technological development of developing countries. States that have monopoly and dominance in the field of information and communication technologies, including the Internet, should not use advances in information and communication technologies as tools of containment and suppression of the legitimate economic and technological development of other states. We call upon the international community to promote an open, fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological development.

We note with concern that, at the halfway point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world, in particular developing countries, remains far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We further note that science, technology and innovation have been identified as transformative drivers to accelerate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and that their strategic deployment could address and minimize the gaps between the goals and targets, and recognize that technology transfer to developing countries will be critical to scaling up and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

We stress the important role of science, technology and innovation as pillars, enablers and catalysts to support sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, accelerating the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and, in this context, reaffirm the need for policy decision-making at all levels to create an enabling international environment for the development of science, technology and innovation and to take into account, in the first instance, available scientific knowledge and innovation, as well as the use and promotion of traditional, local, Afro-descendant and indigenous knowledge and capacities.

We reaffirm the 2005 Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, which recognized the special and specific financing needs of the developing world, and promote close alignment between the World Summit on the Information Society process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, high lighting the cross-cutting contributions of ICTs to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and noting that access to ICTs has also become a development indicator and aspiration in itself.

We also call for close alignment between the World Summit on the Information Society process and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other outcomes of relevant intergovernmental processes, including the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future. We agree to work towards a strong and concerted position of the G-77 and China to ensure that the WSIS+20 process, the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future contribute, inter alia, to the achievement of sustainable development and to bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries.

We reiterate that the Tunis Agenda and the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action will set the guiding principles for digital cooperation.

We recognize the opportunity offered by science, technology and innovation for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all people, including the right to development. We call for progress in digital inclusion, as well as gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and to strengthen their full, equal and meaningful access and participation in these areas, including the participation of women in scientific and technological processes, as a way to eliminate the gender digital divide, address the risks and challenges arising from the use of technologies and ensure that their benefits are available to all, including women and girls.

We agree on the need to invest more in science, technology and innovation and to implement initiatives at all levels for the development of human resources in these areas. We underscore the importance of formulating strategies to combat the brain drain of skilled human resources trained in the countries of the South. Agree to continue to promote the interest of young people in scientific studies, including in the field of education.

We reaffirm our commitment to open and equitable scientific collaboration, and recognize the important contribution of open science to the development of solutions to global challenges. In this regard, we encourage measures to promote the incorporation of scientific evidence into policy-making processes.

We recognize the important contributions that the knowledge produced by research and innovation activities can make to the design of better public policies, as well as the need to strengthen collaboration and exchanges between policy makers and the scientific and technological communities to this end.

We encourage the promotion of science- and innovation-based governance at both the national and local levels, as well as the inclusion of this perspective in national development strategies as integral and cross-cutting elements. We also call for the strengthening of science and innovation ecosystems that connect national and local governments, the public and private sectors, academia, research centers and civil society, taking into account national legislation and contexts.

We express our readiness to support the expansion of open science models at all levels, in order to guarantee citizens’ access to research results and scientific information, so that science and knowledge are within the reach of all people.

We advocate the development and use of science, technology and innovation in an ethical and responsible manner, as well as the strengthening and expansion of infrastructures for research and development.

We recognize that intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, taking into account national laws, and urge the application, where appropriate, of the flexibilities enshrined in relevant international legal obligations on intellectual property rights.

We recognize the contribution of science to the development of innovative technologies and solutions to move towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. In this context, we urge that developing countries be provided with the means of implementation necessary to strengthen their scientific and technological capabilities. We further note the need to raise awareness of sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, in accordance with the commitments contained in the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, we commit to continue to promote close linkages and partnerships between policy makers, academia, research centers and the private sector, as appropriate.

We further recognize the contribution of science, technology and innovation to industrial development in developing countries and as a key source of economic growth, economic diversification and value addition.

We call for the promotion of new research, the development and transfer of necessary technologies and access to existing technologies in the areas of food and nutrition, health, water and sanitation and energy, in order to contribute to the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions and to the achievement of sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, human well-being and sustainable development.

We note the central role of Governments, with the active contribution of stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia and research institutions, in creating and supporting an enabling environment at all levels, including enabling policy and governance frameworks, in accordance with national priorities, to foster science, innovation, entrepreneurship and the diffusion of knowledge and technologies, in particular to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.

We stress the importance of research and development and technology transfer in the area of human health, taking into account the increase in emerging and re-emerging communicable and non-communicable diseases, including their risk factors.

We call upon the international community and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to take urgent action to promote unimpeded, timely and equitable access by developing countries to health-related measures, products and technologies needed to address current and future pandemic preparedness and prevention responses. This includes financing, strengthening health systems, capacity building, ensuring sustainability of supply chains, transfer of technology and know-how for local and regional manufacturing and production of medical countermeasures, including drugs, vaccines, therapies, diagnostics, health technologies and other health products in developing countries.

We recognize the role of science, technology and innovation in identifying and addressing the challenges posed by climate change, the effects of which disproportionately impact developing countries. We recognize that all technological barriers, including those identified by the IPCC, limit adaptation to climate change and the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of developing countries. In this regard, we reiterate the need for an effective response to the urgent threat of climate change, especially through enhanced financing, technology transfer and capacity building based on the needs and priorities of developing countries, in accordance with the principles and objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, including equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, as well as on the basis of the best available science.

We recognize that information and communication technologies are a key catalyst and enabler of sustainable development. We reaffirm the vision of building an inclusive, people-centered and development-oriented information society. We call upon the international community and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to take urgent action to reduce digital divides and inequalities in data generation, infrastructure and accessibility within and between countries and regions, as well as between developed and developing countries, with special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable. We urge the creation of the necessary conditions to provide developing countries with affordable and reliable connectivity, inter alia, to promote digital access and inclusion, including for people in remote and rural communities, as well as to ensure ethical, reliable and more equitable development, access and use of artificial intelligence.

We note with deep concern the existing disparities between developed and developing countries in terms of conditions, possibilities and capacities to produce new scientific and technological knowledge. We call upon the international community, the United Nations system and international financial institutions to support the efforts of the countries of the South to develop and strengthen their national science, technology and innovation systems. We urge developed countries to urgently mobilize means of implementation such as technology transfer, technical assistance, capacity building and financing, through new, additional and predictable resources in relation to the needs of developing countries in this area, in accordance with their national needs, policies and priorities.

We recognize that no restrictions should be imposed on developing countries’ access to information and communication technology materials, equipment and technologies to maintain sustainable development.

We further recognize the importance of assisting developing countries in addressing the challenges and opportunities related to the use of the Internet and electronic commerce to develop, inter alia, their international trade capacities.

We support the promotion and implementation of specific and targeted innovation policies aimed at fostering sustainable economic growth and the creation of new employment opportunities for current and future generations.

We reiterate the crucial role of official development assistance in supporting the development needs of the countries of the South and stress the urgent need for developed countries to fulfill their historic commitment in this regard.

We stress the importance of strengthening North-South cooperation, including the fulfillment of official development assistance commitments to support the development needs of the countries of the South.  At the same time, we agreed to continue working on the development of science and technology in developing countries by strengthening South-South cooperation, which is necessary to optimize our potential and complement our resources and expertise, while providing viable pathways to address the common challenges of developing countries and, inter alia, accelerate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We encourage discussions on the possibilities of establishing new platforms for South-South cooperation and exchanges in science, technology and innovation.

We further encourage the promotion of triangular cooperation projects and programs aimed at improving the access of developing countries to more and better resources for the implementation of technical and scientific initiatives. We recognize that triangular cooperation aims to facilitate, support and enhance South-South initiatives, through the provision of, inter alia, financing, capacity building, technology transfer and other forms of support, at the request of developing countries, consistent with the principles of South-South cooperation, and that it should be led by countries of the South.

We recognize that an international technology framework should be considered, including the Global Digital Compact, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, that provides preferential access to developing countries to relevant advanced technologies, develops their productive capacities, ends discriminatory restrictions and focuses on global research and development on scientific advances relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals.

We recognize the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in fostering long-term strategic investment in support of science, technology and innovation development in developing countries, including through innovative financing.

We reaffirm our decision to resume the work of the Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation for the South (COSTIS), and urge the members of the Group to evaluate and strategize to ensure its effective functioning.

We agree that our ministers and high authorities on science, technology and innovation meet periodically, as appropriate, to take stock of the role of science, technology and innovation in the development agendas adopted at the United Nations and to strengthen South-South cooperation in these areas.

We urge the United Nations regional commissions, agencies, funds and programs, in particular UNDP, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, ITU and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, within their respective mandates, to make additional efforts to support developing countries in strengthening institutional frameworks and public policies related to science, technology and innovation.

We agree to request the President of the General Assembly to convene, in the context of the Eightieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, a high-level meeting on science, technology and innovation for development, focusing in particular on actions to be taken to address the needs of developing countries in these areas.

We reaffirm our commitment to implement at the national and international levels the concrete actions contained in this declaration.

Agree to declare 16 September as the Day of Science, Technology and Innovation in the South.

We express our appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Cuba, Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, for the organization and conduct of this Summit. We trust that this meeting will set the tone for our actions in these times of enormous challenges and will allow us to advance towards the realization of our legitimate aspirations for development.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English

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