The world has changed quite a bit from what it used to be. In fact, it is still changing. Everything that exists, exists with an expiry date, and we know that amidst all these changes that our home planet is undergoing, there is a bell of extinction that keeps on jingling. Humans are at the top of the pyramid of evolution. They are, of course, not going to give in to the jingling bell so easily. They will do all that is in their hands to enjoy many more sunsets and sunrises from Earth. The G7 summit was started with an aim of using this zest and turning the desire of building a better future into a reality. This summit is held every year. This year too, despite facing various setbacks due to the raging pandemic, the summit has been held in the United Kingdom. This year’s G7 summits meeting had been held in Cornwall over the span of three days starting from Friday the 11th to Sunday the 13th of June. This is the 47th G7 summit, ever since its first meeting in the year 1975.
With increasing awareness about our environment, we are becoming more and more interested in what we can do to make our home a better place to live in, for ourselves, as well as for future generations. These G7 meetings have, therefore, become quite a topic amongst individuals who are conscious about the various issues regarding the degrading environment of planet Earth. If you are one such individual, or maybe are just starting to take an interest in these issues, we have a G7 summit article that might interest you. As you keep scrolling you will understand what the G7 summit really is, why it was started in the first place, what are its aims, and much more about it.
There is so much going on around the globe, it really is impossible for someone to keep up with every single activity that is being held across the world. It is therefore quite understandable if you are not well acquainted with the term G7 summit, or what the aim of it is. To benefit you, therefore, we will start from the very basics of what a G7 summit is about, and what benefits these summits offer to the world. Let’s start then.
What is the G7 Summit?
The first G7 summit was held in 1975 in France. Starting from that year we now stand at the 47th G7 summit in 2021.
Time flies does it not? It is already the 47th summit!
But what are these 47 summits anyway? What are the issues that are discussed in these summits? Who selected the G7 members? What is a G7 nation? There are so many questions! Let us address them one by one.
G7 summits are a yearly union of the leaders of all the leading economies of the world. The G7 in fact stands for the group of seven countries that are permanent members of this union. What are the countries that comprise this G7 group? Who are the G7 countries? The countries car Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States, and of course the United Kingdom. The European Union, even though is not a permanent member of this G7, it has always maintained a consistent presence in all G7 summits to date.
While we are discussing what G7 summits are, another question that may have already come to your mind is that how does this grouping take place? Who is the one who decides who gets to be there? Well, there has been little discussion regarding the members of G7. The G7 is a rather informal grouping of these seven advanced economies of the world.
Russia too had been a part of this G7. The union had for a short while, back then, taking up the name of G8. However, shortly after Russia broke away from this organization. The name was thereafter back to G7.
Another interesting fact that comes up while we are discussing the G7 summits is that China has never been a part of this union. China despite being one of the leading economies of the world, with the largest population as well, has never been a part of this yearly union. This nation had accused the G7 of practicing political manipulation. China was also successful in highlighting several uncertain issues that revolved around abuse is against various minorities across the globe, about which the G7 had taken little or nil measures.
Despite so many piercing allegations throughout its life, the G7 summits have never given in to such criticisms. In fact, over the years the g seven has accomplished much as well. These unions have helped secure and strengthen international economic and security policies discussed and looked into various rising global concerns such as climate change, taking steps to do away with gender bias, and have also consistently supported disarmament programs and much more.
How Does The G7 Function?
What is the G7 summit all about? The G7 summits are all about creating dialogue. These early meetings are essential to discuss some of the rising problems of the world. The leaders of the seven most advanced economies of the globe come together and discuss issues that can help to improve the condition of the various nations across the world. But how do the deliberations occur in these meetings? What follows is a brief idea about what is discussed in these G7 summits and how the discussions are held.
- The assembly is held every year by one of the permanent members. For instance, the first year that the summit was held, France was the member which hosted it. This year the same is going to be hosted by the United Kingdom, in Cornwall.
- These summits are held over two working days and end with the submission and adoption of the Final Communique. Each of the members is represented by the designated figures. For instance, while The United States and France are represented by the state heads, the others such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and the others are represented by the heads of the government.
- The ministerial meetings are one of the most important segments of these summits. However, they are held quite independent of the summit of the G7 heads. That being said, some of the most crucial decisions are made in these meetings and are jotted in the Final Communique, it should every year at the end of every G7 summit.
- The G7 structure is headed by a Sherpa. Other bodies that support this institutional structure are Foreign Affairs Sous- Sherpa and Political Director. These bodies, especially the Sherpa are responsible for looking after the preparatory process that precedes the summits. The Sherpa is also responsible for the draft of the Final Communique.
- The figure that stands as the Sherpa will of course vary depending on where the summit is being held. The post is traditionally and usually held by someone who is well acquainted with the affairs of the government, for instance, a high-ranking diplomat.
- The Sherpa is often assisted by a ministry of foreign affairs representative, also referred to as the Political Director or the PD. Issues revolving around security policies and foreign relations it would be two of the major aspects of discussion here.
- There is also something called the working groups that the G7 summits often witness. What are these working groups? These working groups consist of experts from different fields from the different member countries in the G7 summits. These working groups take care of the pledges that are made by the heads of the government and the state who attend the summits.
- These working groups are in charge to look after the technical aspects of the various debates that occur in these summits, at a greater depth. The various debates can be about health, development, Environmental Protection, food safety, peacekeeping, and so on – all guided by the Sherpas, the Political Director, and the Foreign Affairs Sous- Sherpa. The working groups explore the various technical aspects of the same.
- The civil society is another very pivotal interlocutor for these G7 Summits. a very important role that brings the institutions face to face with the people of the grassroots level. It plays an advocacy role. It sees to the fact that the leaders stick to the pledges that they have made and encourages them to work upon the same.
- Up till here was the general structure that is followed in every other G7 summit that has been held to date. Apart from this general discussion, the specific agendas set for the year’s summit are also discussed and decisions are arrived upon regarding the issues that were eased in the agendas.
What Is The Aim Of The G7?
We have gone through what these summits are, and how they offer deliberation regarding the various issues raised. But when seven of the most powerful economies of the world come together it is obviously about much more than just having tea together. Could the member countries not arrive at their own decisions, that would benefit them, though? Why does this organization exist in the first place? What is the aim that these G7 summits want to achieve?
- The basic goal of these G7 summits is to achieve a better tomorrow, for us, as well As for the future generations to whom we would be leaving our Earth.
- The ministers and officials of the member countries talk about the various rising concerns that are affecting our society every day and also search for ways that could help us curb these concerns.
- The G7 members discuss the different Foreign Relations, the disputes they share, and how those disputes affect the other nations across the globe.
- Every year different countries, apart from the existing members, are also invited to join these summits and place their opinions about the agendas that get discussed.
The G7 Summit 2021
Now that we have got a basic idea about what G7 summits are about, and why they are held with such consistency every year, we now stand at the doorway of this year’s G7 summit.
Despite such an upsetting situation worldwide, the G7 summit members have been able to pull off this year’s summit as well. What was it that they discussed this year? Was the covid situation the distribution of vaccines across the globe one of the issues that the members were concerned with in this summit?
Protests and thereafter police to handle the protestors are a common occurrence to almost every other G7 summit to date. This year to the summit saw some protesters but they were soon managed, being fewer in numbers this year. Certain restrictions have also been imposed regarding the number of protestors and police as well.
Want to know more about what happened in this year’s G7 meeting? Well, then let’s find out.
G7 2021 Proceedings- What Was The Plan?
Before the members meet, there are deliberations that occur in the member countries individually. It is much like the discussion that occurs prior to a class presentation. You segregate the topics that require specific attention, that will make your presentation attention-worthy, and who would be the best suited to present your project to the class.
The member countries, too, go through such a process. They discuss and agree upon issues that need to be addressed at global levels. They then go on to put forth the issues start they decide upon on the table of the G7 summit. Those topics are then discussed amongst the leaders present. Various decisions and deliberations can occur even between the officials and ministers of the individual member countries while they are discussing the issues that can be raised. After all, these G7 summits deal with the future of the entire world. The more the discussion, the more innovative ideas come afloat.
For instance, ahead of the G7 2021 summit, it was decided upon by the G7 finance ministers that multinational companies should be urged to pay more tax. Apart from this, another major topic of discussion was the indestructible relationship that the United Kingdom and the United States share.
However, how far these decisions are acted upon is the real question that comes to a common man’s mind. The power that the G7 holds is something we discuss in just a few lines below.
The Highlights Of The G7 Summit 2021
This year is a special year from all angles. The world has undergone much change regarding almost every aspect. The raging pandemic that hit the globe at the dawn of the 2020 new year has caused much damage to almost every other nation across the world. Excess medical supplies were required, economies all furious nations came crashing down, and of course, so many precious lives were lost.
The G7 summit of this year, therefore, held much important keeping in mind that their primary goal is the betterment of our future. The proceedings started with a dinner that was attended by the queen and all the existing members of the royal family, at the Eden Project on the first day of the summit, on Friday night, 11th June 2021.
The main issue of discussion was of course regarding Covid recovery in different nations worldwide. An underlying agenda was also about how we could build a stronger global health system that could sustain ask from any and all future pandemics. Other issues were also discussed. They mostly included concerns about trade and climate change.
Even though most of the deliberations occur behind closed doors amongst the permanent and the invited members, here are some highlights regarding the discussions that occurred in this year’s G7 summit.
- One of the major issues at hand is the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. While purchasing medical health benefits is not much of a struggle for the richer nations come other poorer countries suffer hugely in this regard. While statistics show that 11 billion doses would be the minimum requirement for most of these nations to fight the death rates from the pandemic, the G7 members have announced and pledged that they will be donating 1 billion vaccines to the poorer nations of the world. This venture is all set to be completed by the next year and will be issued directly through and under the World Health organization’s Covax scheme.
- A global green industrial revolution is also all set to be kick-started this year. This is a rather important deliberation keeping in mind the population levels of recent times. A vast number of government-supported fossil fuel sectors are destined to be shut down and petrol and diesel driven vehicles are also to be curbed. Under this global green industrial revolution, the ultimate goal would be to move from non-renewable sources of energy to renewable and clean sources of energy completely.
- Even though such a bold declaration as above was meet, no date was finalized in the summit regarding when the burning of coal would stop across the world. Having said that, coal, apart from being one of the biggest contributors to climate change and global warming when burnt, is also one of the easiest and most widely used sources of fuel. While serious deliberations and how to curb the same continues, it is an undeniable fact that the burning of coal cannot be pulled to a halt so suddenly.
- Another important discussion that was held in this year’s G7 summit was China’s influence on the economy and security. The members discussed in detail how they can counter China’s growing security and economic influence. As stated earlier, China had never been a part of the group of seven permanent members despite having one of the largest growing economies of the world, and of course the largest population as well. Even though the concern about China’s growing monopolistic influence over various sectors is a natural concern for many, if not all, nations across the world, China’s support is still necessary in any agenda that has the interests of the entire world in mind.
What Power Does The G7 Summits Hold?
By now you have surely become quite well acquainted with what the G7 does, how it does it, and what the summit of this year had to offer. But the main question that arises here is that to what extent are the summit agendas and the conclusions reached thereafter are followed. How much power do the G7 members hold anyway?
To put it quite blatantly the G7 members do not hold much power. This body is incapable of passing any laws whatsoever. The G7 consists of member nations that have their own democratic processes. Therefore, to reach one conclusion that would be in accordance with the opinions of all these nations would be as good as a myth.
However, there have been times then the decisions passed by, or rather agreed upon, by the G7 community had played a crucial and more importantly how beneficial role in various global ventures. For instance, the G7 had a rather crucial role to play in setting up a global fund that would help the nations to fight malaria and aids. This is back in the year 2002.
The G7 organization was an informally formed group of the world’s seven most advanced and largest economies. The G7 countries’ names have already been discussed here earlier. Russia had joined this group back in the year of 1998. The name had been changed to G8 for a brief while back then. However, shortly after in 2014 it was excluded from the group following its takeover of Crimea. China on the other hand was never a member, to begin with. This year apart from the existing seven members a few other guest members were also calls to join the summit. The guest members this year were India, Australia, and South Korea. While this organization is treated with much respect worldwide, the fact that two of the largest populations of the world, India, and China, are not part of it does pose to be a major drawback. All that said and done, the G7 summits every year are quite an important event. They discuss the rising global concerns be it about global warming or regarding the distribution of medical benefits across the nations. This is a crucial and very important role that the G7 summits carry on their shoulders. Our world could really do with this attention, if not more.