Representing the Philippine President, DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr., participated in the G77 and China Summit of Heads of State and Government on current development challenges focusing on the vital role of science, technology, and innovation.
The two-day Summit was held in Havana, Cuba and was attended by more than 100 G77 member countries including various international organization partners.
The G77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests; enhance joint negotiating capacity on major international issues; and continue pursuing South-South cooperation for development. In this connection, thirty (30) Heads of States and Government from Africa, Asia, and Latin America also joined the in-person general debate.
As Secretary Solidum Jr. delivered the national statement on 16 September, he shared some of the major challenges that we must overcome such as poverty, hunger, food insecurity, health, energy, gender inequality, the digital divide, disasters and climate change, among others. He then emphasized the critical value that STI upholds towards providing solutions and contributing towards sustainable development.
The Secretary mentioned some of the Department’s key programs on capacitating people through scholarship programs; supporting MSMEs through technology upgrading; community empowerment; promotion of science communication; GeoRiskPH and PlanSmartReady to Rebuild which focuses on risk assessment, resilience against natural hazards, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery initiatives especially in the vulnerable areas.
Secretary Solidum concluded his remarks by stressing the need to work together in the hopes for a better and more prosperous, fair, just, and balanced world order. The Honorable President of the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Miguel Díaz – Canel Bermúdez, expressed his gratitude for everyone’s support during the inaugural session of the Summit. He emphasized that the deliberations and positions on the current global challenges will lead to tangible results in the interest of friendship, solidarity, humanity, and cooperation.
President Bermúdez also mentioned that science, technology and innovation (STI) plays a key role in fostering productivity, efficiency, wealth creation, and promotion of well-being and human development. The United Nations Secretary General Mr. António Guterres highlighted that the G77 and China Summit is a good platform to raise the voices of the member countries calling for a more effective and stronger collaboration between and among multilateral institutions. Believing in the principle that no one should be left behind, the Secretary General called for global and collective action in strengthening STI in the international arena as it is essential towards solving common problems and inequalities that will lead to inclusive and sustainable development.
Secretary Solidum Jr. led the Philippine Delegation composed of Ambassador and Permanent Representative His Excellency Antonio Lagdameo (Co-Head of Delegation), Deputy Permanent Representative Ms. Leila Lora-Santos, Attache and Protocol Officer Mr. Jose Jacinto Morales, and Ms. Michaella Louise Candelario (technical staff from DOST). The next expected meetings of G77 are the Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of Senior Officials of G77 and Forty-seventh Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the G77 scheduled on 20 and 22 September 2023, respectively, in New York, while the Third South Summit is expected to be held on 20-23 January 2024 in Kampala. (30)