Science Secretary Renato Solidum Jr., representing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., participated in the recent Group of 77 (G77) and China Summit of heads of state and government on current development challenges focusing on the vital role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Havana, Cuba.
The G77—attended by more than 100 G77 member countries including various International Organization partners—is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations.
The group 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.
Thirty heads of states and government from Africa, Asia and Latin America also joined the in-person general debate.
As Solidum delivered the national statement on September 16, he shared some of the major challenges that the Philippines must overcome. They include poverty, hunger, food insecurity, health, energy, gender inequality, the digital divide, disasters and climate change, among others.
He then acknowledged the critical value that STI upholds toward providing solutions and contributing towards sustainable development.
Solidum cited some of DOST’s key programs on capacitating people through scholarship programs; supporting micro, small and medium enterprises 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.
He pointed out the need to work together in the hopes for a better and more prosperous, fair, just, and balanced world order.
Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez 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.
Bermúdez also mentioned that STI plays a key role in fostering productivity, efficiency, wealth creation, and promotion of well-being and human development.
United Nations Secretary General 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, Guterres called for a global and collective action in strengthening the STI in the international arena as it is essential towards solving common problems and inequalities and contributes in the sustainable development.
Image credits: DOST