What is the G7?
The G7, or the Group of Seven is an international economic organization whose members are the leaders of the 7 richest countries in the world, as described by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The G7 have met each year since 1975 to discuss important global economic issues and try to arrive at solutions to various problems that the world is facing.
The 7 countries are: the USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Since 1977, the European Union has also been represented at the G7 Summit.
Each member country hosts the Summit in turn every year. This year was France’s turn and President Emmanuel Macron hosted the event in Biarritz along the French coast.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also invited to attend as a special guest along with leaders of some other non-member countries.
Three Important Issues at the G7 Summit 2019:
The leaders of the G7 countries discussed different topics, and the three most important ones were climate change, global trade and the Iran nuclear deal.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues and see what decisions the G7 leaders made about them.
Global Climate Change
Climate change was high on the agenda in France. The recent ‘death’ of a glacier in Iceland (read more here) and the devastating fires in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil are causes for great worry. (read our coverage of the Amazon fires here)
In a pledge to help put out these fires, the G7 member countries have dedicated $22 billion in aid. Let’s hope that it is not too late to save the forests!
In an on-going standoff in global trade that threatens to drastically slow down the global economy, the US and China have levied high tariffs (fees) on goods imported from each other (read our coverage on tariffs and trade wars here). Recently, the United States increased the fees for $550 billion of Chinese goods, which, if they are not revoked, will lead to higher prices for consumers everywhere.
China promised to retaliate with similarly high tariffs if the US did not take a step back from this action. The G7 Summit ended on a positive note in this regard with the US President and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He indicating that they were both open to a fair and calm negotiation of the situation. What happens in the end, remains to be seen.
Iran’s Nuclear Agreement
France and the US, as well as the other G7 members, agreed that Iran should not be permitted to develop or obtain nuclear weapons. The other members, however, disagreed with President Trump who has refused to lift the sanctions imposed on Iran after it violated the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement. In what can be seen as a step in the right direction, President Trump said that he might be open to meeting Iran’s President and discussing ways to save the country’s economy which has suffered due to the sanctions which prevent Iran from selling oil to other countries.
(For more on the on-going tensions between the US and Iran, read our coverage here)
The 45th G7 Summit was one filled with mixed emotions. The threat of a slowdown in the global economy, the ongoing devastation caused by climate change and the ongoing debate on the development of nuclear weapons are issues that affect us all. Although the Summit ended with some positive signs, it also uncovered the fact that the leaders of the world’s economic powers are not really in agreement about various matters. Tensions were high throughout the weekend and the final outcome of the discussions will only be seen in the weeks and months to come. We hope that the needs of the planet and all its people are put before everything else and that any action which is taken is for the common good.
Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.’