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All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC - Significance of G-7 Summit in Current Global Scenario
Published on Sept. 17, 2019, 1:11 p.m.

Significance of G-7 Summit in Current Global Scenario

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Search 26th August, 2019 Spotlight News Analysis here: http://www.newsonair.com/Main_Audio_Bulletins_Search.aspx

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood relations, International relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

The G7 or 'Group of Seven' are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that 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 since 1977.
  • The G7 was known as the ‘G8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

The current G7 Summit being held in France is the 45th, and the next one will be held in the United States in 2020. 

History

The G7 was formed initially to discuss economic and political concerns prompted by the 1973 oil crisis - when members of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries, increased the price of oil and cut global supplies to countries seen as having backed Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Since then, the group has expanded its brief to cover a large number of international issues, including energy security, trade, climate change, global health issues, gender equality, poverty - and any other topic the country holding the G7 presidency chooses to put on the agenda.

Today, the G7 are reckoned as the seven wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world because China, which holds the second largest net worth in the world, nonetheless has a low net worth per individual and an economy that has not yet fully modernized.

In the meeting

The G7 Summit is an informal gathering that lasts two days, in which leaders of member countries discuss a wide range of global issues.

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 G7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual Summits are non-binding. The presidency, which rotates annually among member states, is responsible for setting the agenda of each year’s summit and arranging logistics for it.

France identified the following five objectives for the Summit:

  • Fighting inequality of opportunity, promoting in particular gender equality, access to education and high quality health services;
  • Reducing environmental inequality by protecting our planet through climate finance and a fair ecological transition, preserving biodiversity and the oceans;
  • Strengthening the social dimension of globalization through more fair and equitable trade, tax and development policies;
  • Taking action for peace against security threats and terrorism which weaken the foundations of our societies; and
  • Tapping into the opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI)

Besides Iran, G-7 is worrying about a lot of other issues — from the Amazon forest fires to Brexit and the escalating tariff war between the US and China, to the French threat to impose new taxes on American technology companies.

India at the G7 Summit

  • The invite to India to be a Biarritz Partner and to Prime Minister Modi to be a special guest at the Summit was extended by President Macron keeping in mind the common interests of India and France, such as tackling climate change and the development of renewable energy.
  • Prime Minister Modi collaborated closely with President Macron’s predecessor, President François Hollande, in the creation of the International Solar Alliance in 2015.
  • Modi addressed sessions on digital transformation and climate change at the Biarritz Summit.

Conclusion 

Many analysts also believe the power and prestige of the G20, a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors from nineteen of the world’s largest countries as well as the EU, has surpassed that of the G7. Emerging powers including Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa, whose absence from the G7 was often noted, all belong to the G20.

However, in the current scenario, one must note that it would pay well if India uses this opportunity to deepen its ties with both France and USA. 

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Discuss the significance of G-7 Summit in current global scenario.