Seychelles’ President calls for lifting US embargo against Cuba at G77+China Summit

Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan has called for greater global integration and the need to also address issues such as embargoes.

“Such limitations severely hinder scientific progress and impede the advancement of technology and innovation. In addition, they cause untold suffering to ordinary citizens. A case in point is that of our host country. I take this opportunity to once again renew our full support to the government and people of Cuba, and to reiterate our call for the end of the United States embargo against Cuba as per the UN Resolution,” said Ramkalawan.

He urged the G77 leaders to adopt a more collaborative effort to bring about the necessary development required that is inclusive in his statement on Friday.

Ramkalawan was speaking at the opening session of the G77+China Summit General Debate in Havana part of a two-day Summit of Heads of State and Government taking place in Havana, Cuba.

The two-day summit is taking place under the theme “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation.”

“A collaboration of efforts and partners is necessary to bring about such development, leaving no one behind. South-South cooperation in scientific discovery, technological transfer, knowledge-sharing and capacity building is crucial,” he said.

“We are confronted by numerous obstacles that hinder our progress and threaten the well-being of our people. However, in the face of these challenges, we have a powerful tool at our disposal: the transformative potential of science, technology, and innovation,” he added.

Ramkalawan said that countries rely on pioneering technologies to overcome the complexities of a world in flux to address global threats to food security, health and human security and equally, to mitigate and adapt against the detrimental impacts of climate change.

The two-day summit in Cuba is taking place under the theme “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation.” (State House) Photo License: CC-BY

He stressed the plights that small island developing states (SIDS) like Seychelles are faced with several threats. These include rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the loss of biodiversity that are threatening their very existence.

Science and innovation must and can play a crucial role, said the Seychelles President and urged member states to continue to invest in research and development to find sustainable solutions, discover renewable energy sources, and adapt to the constantly changing climate.

“By leveraging the power of technology, we can build resilient communities, protect our natural resources, and ensure a sustainable future for future generations. With a growing world population, we are pressed to find resourceful ways to sustainably meet the ever-increasing demands for new products and services. Not only to satisfy the wants of a more consumerist society but also to fulfill the basic needs of rural and isolated communities,” he added.

Ramkalawan said SIDS also face a unique set of challenges such as limited resources, vulnerability to climate change and geographical isolation.

“We must therefore rely on the transformative power of science, technology, and innovation to overcome these obstacles. Science provides the knowledge and understanding necessary to address pressing issues, such as sustainable resource management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change adaptation,” he said.

He also spoke of the digital divide as another pressing challenge and highlighted that an increasingly interconnected world, access to information, and communication technologies, is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity.

“It is imperative that we bridge the digital divide and ensure equal access to technology and innovation for all. By investing in our digital infrastructure, promoting digital literacy, and fostering innovation in our educational systems, we can empower our people, create opportunities, and narrow the socio-economic gaps that divide us,” said Ramkalawan.

“We must therefore continue to build stronger partnerships and to use this platform to advance the interests of Group 77. We cannot risk being left further behind in this new era. Placing people and our planet at the centre of development over profits would ensure that our progress serves humanity’s interests. For lasting peace, higher standards of living and prosperity,” he added.

From Cuba, Ramkalawan will join other world leaders in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly under the theme “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and the sustainability for all.”

Source: Seychelles News Agency