The 45th G7 Summit was held in France where Indian Prime Minister attended the summit as a special guest, though India is not a member of the G7 group. G7 is an international forum of the seven leading industrialized nations such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Decisions within the G7 are made on the basis of consensus.
- Every year the G7 meets for an annual summit, at which the heads of state and government discuss topics which are currently of particular global relevance.
- The annual G7 Leaders’ Summit typically ends with a final communiqué, which is a list of non-binding commitments that each country is expected to implement.
- The outcomes of summits are not legally binding, but compliance is high and their impact is substantial.
45th G7 meet and India's representation
- This political forum ran from 1997 until 2014 and was the group of eight industrialists countries.
- Russia was added to the forum in 1997, but was suspended in 2014, due to Russia's conduct vis- à-vis Ukraine, which was considered to be inconsistent with the group's shared beliefs and responsibilities'. As of today, the forum is known as G7.
- The G-7 has its roots in an informal meeting of the finance ministers of France, Germany, the U.S., Great Britain, and Japan (the Group of Five) in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
- The original countries that were members of this group were France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- India is not a member of G7.
Themes for 45Th Summit 2019: The five themes that the summit put forward are as follows:
- The summit gathers the leaders of the G7 itself, along with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, to discuss global policy issues of high relevance on diplomatic agendas.
- Indian Prime Minister was personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron which was a recognition of India as a major economic power.
- Other participating countries were Australia, Chile, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Egypt, and Burkina Faso.
Major Outcomes of 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 of 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
- Tapping into the opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence.
However, for the first time in the grouping’s 44-year old history, there was no joint communique. Relevance of G7 G7 as international forum uphold the topics that are mutually beneficial for the participating countries and the globe as well.
- Trade War: Leaders from the group have discussed the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, the Iran nuclear deal and the civil unrest in Hong Kong.
- International Crisis: France called the recent “Amazon fires’ as an international crisis as the issue is the main concerns for the environmental perspective.
- Global Corporate Tax Code: France emphasized the issue of Global Corporate Tax Code that seeks to overhaul the global corporate tax code to make corporations like Google and Amazon to pay more.
- Iran-US Tensions: The meeting discussed the present tensions between the two nations since Trump pulled the US out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
- Solution on Ukraine: The summit also has discussed Ukraine's crisis, as Russia seized Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
- Counter-Terrorism: Terrorism is the rising issue for the entire world and it remains threats for South-East Asian nations. Participating countries have also enlightened the issue and put forward measures to put an end to terrorist activities.
G7’s Relevance for India
- Global politico-economic Influence - G7 represents 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion) and more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). It also provides close to 70 % of all official development assistance (ODA).
- Forum for building personal relationships - It acts as an engaging platform between global leaders, which helps them effectively cooperate in times of crises.
- Deal with pressing issues - G7 ministers and officials meet on an ad hoc basis and create task forces or working groups to focus on specific issues of concern.
- G7 is the platform that provides an opportunity for India to discuss issues like trade protectionism, terrorism, and other threats as well.
- The recently held summit has provided a platform for India to discuss the completion of the Jaitapur nuclear power project, which is being built in partnership with France.
- Deepening ties with EU - India has traditionally found the European Union a difficult jurisdiction to navigate diplomatically. This is a new coalition in the making and deserves more attention.
- Safeguard its core sovereign concerns - Issues such as trade, Kashmir, and India’s relations with Russia and Iran were all discussed with G7 members. For example, Its message on Kashmir was clear: that is a sovereign issue and India is in control.
- India 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 actors.
G7, like many other steering mechanisms developed in the twentieth century, is struggling to find relevance in a parochial world order marked by so-called “coalitions of convenience.” However, India’s presence at the G7 will go down as another milestone in its rise as a “leading power.” Read More: G20 Summit | UN lowers India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast | PM’s panel rejects former CEA’s paper on GDP growth
- Absence of China - Many analysts believe that the G7 is no longer as influential as it once was, because of the absence of China and other emerging global powers like India, Brazil, etc.
- The success of G20, an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies in the world, has surpassed the G7.
- Rising of Protestors: Every year, G7 gathers thousands of protestors that claims, the grouping is completely outdated. Protest group also use the platform to lobby and campaign on issues that are important to them.
- Skewed Representation - It has no representative from any African, Russian or Middle Eastern nation.
- More of Bilateral meeting/deals among members countries reflect the narrow interests of member’s countries over pressing global issues which often evade consensus.
- Widening Divisions - The divisions among the group’s members runs deep, on issues ranging from trade to climate change to tensions with China, Iran, and Russia.
- Individual whims now shape the agenda and outcomes - France’s surprise invitation to Iran, the announcement of a new U.S.-Japanese trade deal, and British Prime Minister’s statement on his plan to “talk tough” to the European Union.