The Group of Seven (G7) Summit is being held at Schloss Elmau and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Germany for the event. The Ministry of External Affairs said earlier this week that the Prime Minister will speak at two sessions on the environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality and democracy. He will also have private talks with the presidents of some of the participating nations.
What is the G7?
The G7 was established in 1975 as an intergovernmental organisation. The group meets once a year to discuss topics like international security, energy policy and global economic governance. The UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US make up the G7 nations. The G20 includes India and each of the G7 nations.At the G7 heads of state and government gathering every year, the European Union is always present. In 2022, Germany has the G7 presidency. India has been invited to the 2022 Summit as a partner nation along with Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa by the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Today, the G7 presidency announced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would participate online.The United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank are among the international organisations taking part in the Summit.
Background of G7 countries
According to the Summit website, the G7 nations account for 10% of the world’s population, 31% of its GDP, and 21% of its carbon dioxide emissions as of now. China and India, the two most populous nations in the world with some of the highest GDP estimates, are excluded from the grouping. In 2021, yearly public sector spending was more than revenue in all G7 nations. The majority of the G7 nations have high levels of gross debt, particularly the US, Japan, and Italy.The G7 nations are significant participants in world trade. Major exporting countries are the US and Germany in particular. In 2021, both countries exported goods well over a trillion US dollars.
Key highlights from last G7 Summit (2021)
The Project Build Back Better for the World: It intends to compete with China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure plan, which has been severely criticised for burdening tiny countries with unmanageable debt since it began in 2013 and has included even G7 member Italy. In addition to offering a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent collaboration with the G7, it will jointly catalyse hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income nations (in Asia and Africa).11 democracies: Last year G7 countries signed off on a joint declaration (Democracies 11) on “open societies” that affirms and promotes the values of free speech, both online and offline, as freedom that protects democracy and enables people to live without fear and repression.Declaration of Carbis Bay: The Carbis Bay Declaration was adopted by the G7. It aimed at stopping pandemics in the future. The G7 also committed to providing poorer countries with over 1 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine, with the United States providing half of that amount and Britain providing 100 million.Countering China: India and other outreach nations did not sign the G-7 declaration, which criticised China for violating “human rights and basic freedoms” in Xinjiang (home to Uyghur Muslims), Hong Kong, and the South China Sea through unilateral actions. It also demanded that the World Health Organization conduct accurate and timely Covid origins research in China. During the World Health Assembly, India had also urged the same in a statement.
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Major decisions from G7 Summit 2022 & key agendas
The first major step was announced by the US yesterday that the Group of Seven (G7) nations would impose sanctions on Russian gold, throwing yet another damage to the Russian economy. To tighten the screws on Moscow, the US announced that the G7 nations will ban the import of Russian gold. US President Joe Biden declared, “Together, the G7 will announce that we will restrict the import of Russian gold, a key export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,” as the heads of the world’s richest countries met in the Bavarian Alps outside the G7 Summit.The second crucial decision that will be made is the approval of $600 billion for global infrastructure projects in developing nations as a response to China’s formidable Belt and Road Initiative. The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, introduced by US President Joe Biden and G7 allies from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union, aims to close a significant gap left by communist China’s use of its financial clout to extend its diplomatic tentacles into the farthest reaches of the world. By 2027, according to Biden, the United States is expected to contribute $200 billion and the remaining G7 nations $400 billion.According to the Guardian publication, Other significant agendas include a cap on the price of Russian oil, a postponement of climate change obligations, a potential famine in Africa, and continued arms shipments to Ukraine. The main takeaway from the three-day G7 summit will be that sanctions are gradually weakening the Russian military machine and will be intensified if harm to the global economy can be minimised.
What will India be looking for?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that he will discuss problems including energy, food security, counterterrorism, the environment, and democracy with the leaders of the G7 and its partner nations while in Germany for the G7 summit. Germany has also invited other democracies including Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa to the G7 Summit, Modi said in a statement before his trip, “in an effort to improve international collaboration on crucial global challenges confronting humanity.” After the “constructive” India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) last month, the Prime Minister said he was also looking forward to seeing Chancellor Scholz again.