The US President has deferred the 46th G7 (Group of 7) Summit which was scheduled to be held in June (2020) at Camp David (USA).
The Group of Seven (G-7) is group of 7 countries all over the world France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada , They meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
About G7 ” History”
In 1973 oil crisis hit global market, for recover of this oil crisis, the finance minster of France called an official meeting with West Germany, the U.S, Great Britain, and Japan (the Group of Five). France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States formed the Group of Six in 1975 to provide a venue for the industrialized democracies to address pressing economic concerns. after that G7 was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues. Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977. The first meeting with all G-7 nations was hosted by the United States which was held in Puerto Rico in 1976.
The European Union has participated fully in the G-7 since 1981 as a “non enumerated” member.It is represented by the presidents of the European Council, which represents the EU member states’ leaders, and the European Commission (the E.U.’s executive branch)
The G-7 was known as the G-8 for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The inclusion of USSR in G-7 was meant as a signal of cooperation between East and West after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. The group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Membership of G-7
There are no formal criteria for membership, but participants are all highly developed democracies. The aggregate GDP of G-7 member states makes up nearly 50% of the global economy and 10% of the world’s population.
The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
The rise of India, China, and Brazil over the past few decades has reduced the G-7’s relevance, whose share in global GDP has now fallen to around 40%.
How the G-7 summit works?
The G-7 nations meet at annual summits that are presided over by leaders of member countries on a rotational basis.
• The summit is an informal gathering that lasts two days, in which leaders of member countries discuss a wide range of global issues.
• The host country typically gets to invite dignitaries from outside the G-7 to attend the Summit.
• The groundwork for the summit, including matters to be discussed and follow-up meetings, is done by the “sherpas”, who are generally personal representatives or members of diplomatic staff such as ambassadors.
• The sherpa for Prime Minister Modi at last year’s summit was former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu.
SHERPAS– Who are generally personal representatives or members of diplomatic staff such as ambassadors.
G-7 and G-20
G-20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, it initially started off as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors.
However, as a response to the financial crisis of 2008, the G-20 was upgraded to head of state level in an inaugural summit in Washington, D.C.
While the G-7 mainly has to do with politics, the G-20 is a broader group that focuses on the global economy. It’s also known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy” and represents 80% of the global GDP.
Apart from the G-7 countries, the G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
45th G-7 summit
The 45th G-7 summit was hosted by France in August, 2019, at Biarritz in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.
French President invited four partner countries, which promote democracy and have significant regional influence (Australia, Chile, India and South Africa);fiveAfrican partners (Burkina Faso, Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, and the African Union Commission (AUC) Chair Moussa Faki); and civil society representatives.
- India’s presence at the G7 is an acknowledgement of the changing world order and India’s growing importance as a major economic power.
- There is a growing realization that revamping the post-world war order for the twenty-first century will require a leadership from emerging economies, especially from Asia and Africa.
The five related priorities of the Summit:
- Fighting inequality of opportunity, promoting gender equality and access to education and high-quality health services, in particular;
- Reducing environmental inequality by protecting the planet through climate finance and just ecological transition, based on preserving biodiversity and the oceans;
- Working toward peace, and against security threats and terrorism;
- Exploiting opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in an ethical and human-oriented way; and
- Combating inequality through a renewed partnership with Africa.
Indian Prime Minister participated in two sessions at the summit, on climate change and digitization, signaling India’s growing willingness to lead on issues that are points of contention for the transatlantic members.
- Indian Prime minister highlighted India’s efforts towards climate protection by eliminating single-use plastic, conserving water, harnessing solar energy and, preserving the flora and fauna for a sustainable future in his address to a G7 session on environment.
Does G-7 Losing Powers ?
- Subtle shift of power: in 2008, while the G-8 talked about food inflation and all kinds of other admittedly important world issues, they completely missed the 2008 global financial crisis.
- The G-20 stepped in at their summit and addressed the root of the problem. They requested the United States to regulate its financial markets more.
- After that, it became apparent that the G-20 emerging market countries, which had largely escaped the crisis, were necessary partners of any global initiative.
- The G-20 Summit superseded the G-8 as the world’s most important meeting of all global leaders.
- As a result, it signaled the end of the old world order and the beginning of a new one.
- The forum’s small and relatively homogenous membership promotes collective decision-making, but critics note that it often lacks follow-through and that its membership excludes important emerging powers.
- The G-7 is an informal bloc and takes no mandatory decisions, so the leaders’ declarations at the end of the summit are not binding.
- The evolution of G-20 which represents the aspiration of emerging economies like India, China, Brazil etc had challenged the west dominated groupings like G-7.