By : Amira Elhamy
Italy hosted the G7 summit on the26th to the 27th May, in its southern city of Sicily. The Summit accommodated the British PM Theresa May, the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, the French president Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, the Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni, the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and the United States president Donald Trump.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, represented the EU at the summit. According to the European Council website, the summit focused on four significant global issues, foreign policy, global economy, reduction of inequalities, and the migration crisis.
On the level of foreign policy, Leaders called for conflict resolution in Syria through an inclusive Syrian-led political process under the auspices of the UN. They committed to concentrate their efforts for defeating international terrorism in Syria. They also addressed, the situation in Libya, urging to advance on the path of political dialogue and national reconciliation. The May 2017 G7 Summit, condemned North Korea’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. They called on North Korea to abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
On the level of global economy, Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to use all policy tools, including monetary, fiscal and structural, to achieve a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. The Summit also stressed on their commitment to fight protectionism and keep their markets open and to stand against all unfair trade practices.
On the grounds of reduction of inequalities, the seven nations, affirmed that promoting gender equality is a crucial contribution to progress towards sustainable development. Leaders adopted the G7 roadmap for a gender-responsive economic environment with a view to foster the economic empowerment of women and girls.
On the fourth issue of migration, the G7 leaders called for coordinated efforts at the national and international level to address the large-scale movement of migrants and refugees. They agreed to establish partnerships to help countries create the conditions within their own borders that address the drivers of migration. They also acknowledged the right of states to control their own borders and to establish policies in their own national interest.
G7 leaders assured that Africa’s security and stability is a crucial priority, they stressed on the importance of strengthening cooperation with African countries, and regional organizations in order to develop the African capacity and effectively respond to any rising conflicts. According to Africa News, the African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat was at the Summit, as well as the former Chadian Premier, who recently held talks with the United Nations and European Union chiefs over closer cooperation between Africa and their respective bodies.
The most heated topic at the G7 Summit was climate change, which was actually a point of dispute between the G7 heads of state and President Donald Trump, who is considering withdrawing from the landmark Paris climate accord. “Trump who has actually listened carefully to the other leaders, vowed to rip up the agreement” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the climate debate was “controversial” and that the leaders of the other G7 nations; France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy, all urged Trump to remain part of the 2015 agreement.
The CNN reported that some environmental groups actually filed lawsuits against the Trump administration regarding the climate change matter. Top US administration advisers have been in a heated debate as well over the Paris accord, the issue has divided West Wing advisers. Chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt have pressed Trump to withdraw. The President’s daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, has advocated for remaining in. Paris accord, is actually an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York. The Paris accord affirms the commitment of countries, mainly China and the US, to reduce their emissions annually.