Here are the main points discussed during the G7 Summit which took place between 11 and 13 June 2021 in Cornwall, the first face-to-face summit in nearly two years.
- Tackling the Covid19 pandemic: By the end of 2022, the G7 will distribute more than 1 billion doses of vaccine against Covid-19 (France is doubling its pledge to 60M doses by the end of 2021). This is to lead to a fairer development and recovery, especially for the southern countries.In addition, an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has been requested to the WHO, in order to prevent another pandemic, but also to understand whether this virus originated from a laboratory mistake or not.
- Climate action: The G7 leaders want to reduce the impact of global warming by limiting it to +1.5 degrees, the limit beyond which scientists say warming would become uncontrollable. Carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as halving CO2 emissions by 2030, are also major points discussed at the summit.
- Infrastructure plan: The G7 members want to counteract China’s influence over the least developed countries (with the New Silk Road, for example), by supporting developing countries in the fields of climate, health, security, digital technology and gender equality. The G7 wants to support underdeveloped countries (especially those in Africa) by supporting their recovery with an investment of 100 billion dollars.
- China and Russia: G7 leaders condemn the treatment of the Uighur community in China, while not ruling out the possibility of cooperation with the country when there is mutual interest. On Russia, the G7 calls on the country to “cease its destabilising activities”, highlighting ethical issues, such as respect for human rights and cyber-attacks.
- Democratic values: Concerns over democracy, freedom, equality, rule of law and respect for human rights were central to the G7. The major economic powers have pledged to provide education for 40 million girls worldwide, with an investment of $2.75 billion.
- Taxes: Tax evasion, particularly in relation to GAFAMs, has been a main issue on the summit agenda. A fairer finance system, with a 15% minimum global corporate tax, and more effective taxation of digital giants have been recently proposed.
- Olympic Games: Finally, the Tokyo Olympic Games, from 23 July to 8 August, is a point on which the G7 members agreed, in order to display a real “symbol of global unity to overcome Covid 19”.
In conclusion, it was a “united” G7. The only point of tension was caused by the Northern Ireland issue.
On the sidelines of the G7, President Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held talks on the Irish question, leading to a difficult exchange on the consequences of Brexit in Northern Ireland.
After this episode, London called for “a bit of respect”: Boris Johnson warned that his government would not hesitate to override the Brexit agreement if the EU shows itself inflexible. The EU is calling on London to respect its commitments over Brexit Agreement. This issue has already been on the agenda of the talks between Joe Biden and Boris Johnson before the summit.
Among other things, this G7 summit marks the “return of the USA” after the Trump years: President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to NATO and the institutions and a firmer approach to China.
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