Stenographic versions – Office of the President of the Republic)
Your Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic;
Your Excellencies Presidents Gustavo Petro and Cyril Ramaphosa;
First of all I would like to express my gratitude for the invitation to attend this Summit for a New Global Financing Pact that could also be a new starting point towards a more comprehensive intergovernmental discussion and decision-making process within the framework of the United Nations.
We are attending this meeting conscious of the huge responsibility Cuba has taken up as Chair of the G-77 and China, the most representative group of developing nations which has historically been the voice and flag of the claims that made us meet here today.
I will not be disclosing any secret if I affirm that the most nefarious consequences of the current international economic and financial order, which is profoundly unjust, antidemocratic, speculative and exclusionary, are affecting developing nations with added strength.
Our countries have been the ones whose foreign debt has increased almost twice as much during the last ten years; which, in 2022, were forced to spend 379 billion dollars from their reserves to defend their currencies, almost twice the amount of Special Drawing Rights allocated to them by the International Monetary Fund.
Under such unfavorable conditions, the South cannot generate nor have access to the 4.3 trillion dollars a year required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals during the rest of the Decade of Action.
Our peoples neither can nor should continue being the lab of colonial formulas and renewed forms of domination that use the debt, the current international financial architecture and unilateral coercive measures to perpetuate underdevelopment and beef-up the coffers of a few at the expense of the South. A new and more just international order is the utmost urgency.
To achieve that, as it has been discussed here today, it would be crucial to reform the international financial institutions, both in terms of governance and representation as well as access to financing, with due regard for the legitimate interests of developing countries and increased decision-making capabilities at financial institutions.
As we advance into the twenty first century, the fact that the majority of the nations in the planet are forced to continue to abide by the obsolete institutions inherited from the Cold War and Bretton Woods, which are far off from the current international configuration and were conceived to profit from the reserves of the South, perpetuate imbalances and apply circumstantial formulas to replicate a modern colonialism scheme, is unacceptable
Multilateral development banks require a prompt and profound recapitalization in order to improve their loan terms and satisfy the financial needs of the South. That would include a call for the countries with unspent Special Drawing Rights to redirect them towards these banks and to developing countries, taking into account their needs, special circumstances and vulnerabilities.
Official loans for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals should be increased. Our countries need additional resources that are supported by concrete actions in terms of access to markets, capacity building and technology transfers.
It is likewise urgent to establish mechanisms to measure progress in terms of sustainable development that would go beyond the gross domestic product, in order to define the access by developing countries to financing under favorable conditions and adequate technical cooperation.
We should also take into account the fact that climate change has transformed the nature of development challenges. Therefore, the globally agreed climate agenda should be applied according to the principle of equity and of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
It is truly disappointing to realize that the goal to mobilize 100 billion dollars annually and up to the year 2020 as climate finance has never been met. If we add to this the accumulation of defaults and the impact of inflation, this goal, which was never really based on the needs and priorities of developing countries or science, is significantly higher.
The time has come to send a clear political message that renews our collective commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The current bases supporting North-South relations and coexistence in this planet should be redefined.
I will conclude with a question and a warning set forth by Fidel almost ten years ago: “If today we are able to prolong life, health and useful time of people; if it is perfectly possible to plan the development of the population by virtue of growing productivity, culture and the development of human values, what are they waiting for?
“If fair ideas do not triumph, disaster will.”
Let us not go down in history as the leaders that could have made the difference in our common destiny and were unable to do so.
Let us not ignore the warnings; let us not underestimate the urgencies. Let us take action with a sense of an endangered species. Let us act with a sense of humanity.
Thank you, very much.