The Global South Holds Two Summits in Kampala

Simultaneous with the annual get-together of the world’s billionaire club in Davos, representatives of the entire “Global South” were meeting in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss the emergence of a more just world system, in which their nations and peoples, too, can develop. The 19th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, with its 120 member countries and 20 observer states, took place on Jan. 15-20, followed by the two-day summit of the G77+China, to which over 130 countries now belong.

At the latter event, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who will chair the group for the next three years, called on world leaders “to support each other’s prosperity and ensure that no one is left behind”. He asked the central question of the day: “I wonder why global economic actors fail to understand that the prosperity of the entire world population benefits everyone, instead opting for policies that keep the majority in poverty.”

The Kampala Declaration, adopted at the end of the NAM meeting, calls for a reform of the global governance system based on the central role of the United Nations, as well as a reform of the international financial architecture.

There was a great deal of discussion about the situation in Gaza, and the final Declaration “strongly condemns the illegal Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip, the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian civilians, civilian objects, the forced displacement of the Palestinian population and further calls for an immediate and durable humanitarian ceasefire”. It notes favorably the action taken by the South African government at the World Court to order Israel to stop the genocide. The issue was also addressed, of course, by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his remarks to the NAM. He further called for a greater say for the Global South and Africa within a fair multilateral system.

China sent a high-level delegation to the NAM summit, in which it has observer status, led by Xi Jinping’s special representative Liu Guozhong. His remarks focused on the need to reform the international financial system and the World Trade Organization. Speaking at the G77 event, Liu pointed to the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS-founded New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund, as institutions which represent the new view of development financing.

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