Summit of G77 and China opens in Havana on Friday

The Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China kicked off at the Palace of Conventions in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.

The Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China kicked off at the Palace of Conventions in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.

The meeting, running through Saturday, gathers delegations from more than 100 countries.

The opening ceremony was attended by Cuba's socialist revolution Army General Raul Castro.

During his welcoming speech, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel highlighted China's efforts to promote international cooperation worldwide.

He said that cooperation, solidarity, and human progress without exclusions are vital to helping tackle today's world challenges.

"Thanks for accepting the invitation that unites us today in defense of the future and the large majorities that comprise such a vast concept of humanity," he said.

Diaz-Canel also denounced the six-decade-long US embargo on the Cuban population, which has caused huge economic and humanitarian damages, calling on participants to fight for the right to development.

Speaking at the summit's opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the voice of the Group of 77 and China will always be essential for the UN system.

Terming the group as "a champion of multilateralism," Guterres called on G77 and China to "champion a system rooted in equality; champion a system ready to reverse the injustice and neglect of centuries; and champion a system that delivers for all humanity and not for the privileged."

More financial support is required to help Global South nations tackle climate change's impact, he added.

Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, attended the summit.

"China is the world's largest developing nation and a natural member of the Global South. We are ready to work with Cuba and other G77 members to open a new chapter in South-South cooperation in quest for greater development through stronger solidarity, build a Global South community with a shared future, and usher in a new era of common development," he said.

Li proposed the following in respect of cooperation between the G77 and China: staying true to the original aspiration of the G77 for independence and greater collective strength through unity; advocating equity, justice and inclusiveness; pursuing development, revitalization and win-win cooperation.

"China remains committed to building an open, inclusive and mutually beneficial system for South-South scientific and technological cooperation," Li said.

Cuba took on the rotating presidency of the G77 and China this January.

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