The Congress brought together over 50 delegates - scholars, diplomats, parliamentarians, and policymakers from 26 countries across all six inhabited continents, including Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.
Following deliberations over two days on geopolitics, climate, finance, technology and trade through panels and keynote speeches, including from Andres Arauz, Clara Lopez and Yanis Varoufakis, the Congress agreed to focus on science, technology and innovation in the next 18 months. The Congress, part of the Progressive International’s project for a New International Economic Order, is held as Cuba assumes the presidency of the G77 bloc of 134 Global South countries.
The Congress agreed to advance the NIEO and support Cuba’s presidency of the G77 bloc through developing proposals for and coordinating with a G77 meeting on science and technology to be held in Havana later this year.
Speaking at the ceremony for Cuba’s ascension to the G77 presidency, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla outlined the need for coordinated Global South action on science and tech, arguing “scientific-technical development is today monopolized by a club of countries that monopolize most of the patents, technologies, research centers, and promote the drain of talent from our countries.” The G77 summit in Cuba will aim to, “unite, complement each other, integrate our national capacities so as not to be relegated to future pandemics.”
Speaking at the conclusion of the Havana Congress, The Progressive International’s General Coordinator David Adler said, “After two days of detailed discussions about how to transform our shared world, delegates agreed that a key priority must be to secure science and technology sovereignty. From pharmaceuticals, to green tech, from digital currencies, to microchips, too much of humanity is locked out of both benefiting from scientific advances and contributing to new ones. We will, as today’s declaration calls for, work to build “a planetary bloc led by the South and reinforced by the solidarities of the North” to liberate knowledge and peoples.”
Karol Cariola, Member of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, said, "We cannot talk about the economic order of the world without talking about the unrecognised labour of women that sustains it. If the women of the world chose to stop working, even for a moment, in their homes — the world would come to a halt. Updating the NIEO for the 21st century means making it a feminist one."
Andres Arauz, former General Director of the Central Bank of Ecuador and member of the Progressive International’s Council, said, "True decolonization means overcoming intra-regional disputes to build lasting regional unity and sovereign integration among the peoples of the Global South in the spirit of Bandung. That means we must expand unilateral and coordinated Southern action."
The Havana Congress,
Recalling the role of the Cuban Revolution in the struggle to unite the Southern nations of the world, and the spirit of the 1966 Havana Tricontinental Conference that convened peoples from Asia, Africa and Latin America to chart a path to collective liberation in the face of severe global crises and sustained imperial subjugation;
Hearing the echoes of that history today, as crises of hunger, disease, and war once again overwhelm the world, compounded by a rapidly changing climate and the droughts, floods, and hurricanes that not only threaten to inflame conflicts between peoples, but also risk the extinction of humanity at large;
Celebrating the legacy of the anti-colonial struggle, and the victories won by combining a program of sovereign development at home, solidarity for national liberation abroad, and a strong Southern bloc to force concessions to its interests, culminating in the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO);
Acknowledging that the project of decolonization remains incomplete, disrupted by concerted attacks on the unity of the South in the form of wars, coups, sanctions, structural adjustment, and the false promise that sovereign development might be won through integration into a hierarchical world system;
Emphasizing that the result has been the sustained divergence between North and South, characterized by the same dynamics that defined the international economic order five decades prior: the extraction of natural resources, the enclosure of ‘intellectual property’, the plunder of structural adjustment, and the exclusion of the multilateral system.
Recognizing that despite these setbacks, the flame of Southern resistance did not die; that the pursuit of sovereign development has yielded unprecedented achievements — from mass literacy and universal healthcare, to poverty alleviation and medical innovation — that enable a renewed campaign of Southern cooperation today;
Stressing that this potential for Southern unity is perceived as a threat to Northern powers, which seek once again to preserve their position in the hierarchy of the world system through mechanisms of economic exclusion, political coercion, and military aggression.
Seizing the opportunity of the present historical juncture, when the crisis of the existing world system can either entrench inequalities or embolden the call to reclaim Southern protagonism in the construction of a new world order based on justice, equity and peace;
The Havana Congress calls to:
More information about the Havana Congress can be found here: https://act.progressive.international/nieo-havana/
More information about the Progressive International’s New International Economic Order project can be found here: https://act.progressive.international/nieo/
Full text of Cuba Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla’s speech: