RSTV: INDIA’S WORLD: INDIA & G7 SUMMIT
The G7 summit addressed a host of issues from climate change to India’s membership for the Nuclear Suppliers’ groups (NSG) and the global trade, taxation mechanism for technology companies among others. But the big focus was also on India’s move to do away with Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir. The move Pakistan has been trying to take up at the international level but the world has once again thrown their weight behind India and reiterated that Kashmir is a solely an internal issue of India. In another major development, the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) understood India’s position on its bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said that he is willing to help on the matter.
What is G7 Summit?
- G7 Summit is an event conducted annually where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe.
- They, by mutual understanding, also form policies or figure out remedies for the concerned issue.
The G7, originally G8, was set up in 1975 as an informal forum bringing together the leaders of the world’s leading industrial nations.
The summit gathers leaders from the European Union (EU) and the following countries:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- The Group of Seven or G7 originally came into being in 1975 when the heads of the world’s six leading industrial nations- the US, UK, France, Germany (West), Japan and Italy decided to hold a meeting in the wake of the oil shock of 1973 and the following financial crisis. The six countries were joined by Canada in 1976.
- The G7 has conducted 44 summits from 1975-2018, discussing a wide range of global issues including foreign policy and security issues. The inaugural summit was the result of a joint initiative by the then French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing and West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
How did G7 become G8?
- Russia was formally inducted as a member in the group in 1998, which led G7 to become G8.
- However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condemnable act of moving Russian troops into eastern Ukrain and conquering Crimea in 2014 drew heavy criticism from the other G8 nations.
- The other nations of the group decided to suspend Russia from the G8 as a consequence of its actions and the group became G7 again in 2014.
G7 Summit: First summit
Its first summit was held at Rambouillet, France, in 1975.
What does the G7 do?
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.
The G7 fill out numerous global top lists:
- Leading export countries
- Largest gold reserves
- Largest nuclear energy producers
- Top contributors to the UN budget
G7 is capable of setting the global agenda because decisions taken by these major economic powers have a real impact. Thus, decisions taken at the G7 are not legally binding, but exert strong political influence.
The 2019 G7 Summit, presided over by France, will focus on fighting inequality. France has 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
- strengthening the social dimension of globalization
- taking action for peace against security threats and terrorism
- tapping into the opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI).
India at G7:
- PM Modi is a participant at the 45th G7 summit at the special invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, as India is not a member of the group of seven.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) referred to the invitation as a “reflection of the personal chemistry” between the two leaders and also recognition of India as a major economic power.
- PM Modi reached Biarritz, France for the summit on August 25 after his three-nation tour of France, UAE and Bahrain.
Following are the key takeaways from the G7 summit:
- G7 might consider reinstating Russia
US President Donald Trump pressed the G7 group to reinstate Russia as a permanent member of the grouping, saying it would be better to have Russia inside the group than outside. However, no consensus was reached on whether or not to invite Russia to the next year’s G7 summit in the United States. French President Emmanuel Macron said that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be organizing a summit in the coming weeks with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to obtain results on the Ukraine crisis.
- Trump open to talks with Iran
Donald Trump said that he was open to meet Iran’s President under the right circumstances to end the confrontations over the 2015 nuclear deal and that talks were underway to see how countries could open up credit lines to keep Iran’s economy afloat. Trump, however, ruled out compensating for losses suffered by Iran and made crippling sanctions.
- Trump opens doors to a possible trade deal with China
The G7 leaders had expressed concern during their summit meeting that trump’s trade war with China could spiral outward and called for a sensible resolution. However, US President Donald Trump in a welcoming move opened the path for a possible trade deal with China following days of an intense trade war. The US-China trade war has had a damaging effect on the global economy and overall GDP.
- Trump skips session on ‘climate and biodiversity’
The G7 summit this year laid increasing focus on climate change amid a backdrop of the burning Amazon, a month after the Earth recorded its hottest month ever. However, US President Donald Trump who claimed to be an environmentalist in a press conference later notably skipped the climate crisis meeting of the G7. Trump defended his absence saying that the US wealth is based on energy exports and he is not going to lose it on dreams.
- India- Pakistan tensions expected to lighten
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while interacting with the media alongside US President Donald Trump said that all issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral and that is why India does not don’t want to trouble any third country. Modi reiterated that India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and he was confident that the two nations can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally.
- G7 leaders support Hong Kong’s autonomy
The G7 leaders confirmed the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and called for violence to be avoided.
- US-UK trade deal
US President Donald Trump vowed to work out a very big trade deal, bigger than ever with the United Kingdom after Brexit. The US president stated that the British would lose the anchor
- US-Japan trade agreement
US President Donald Trump announced locking of a new trade agreement with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The deal aims to secure market access for several American agricultural goods and Japan has agreed to purchase large sums of corn from the US.around their ankle after leaving the EU.
Criticisms against G7?
- G7 gatherings tend to attract thousands of protesters, and it is protested by thousands every year.
- Many protesters claim the G7 – which has no representative from any African, Russian or Middle Eastern nation – is completely outdated.
- Protest groups also use the worldwide platform as a stage to lobby and campaign on issues that are important to them.
- G7 leaders are creating a wide gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ both in their countries as well as across the globe, according to a new report published by non-profit Oxfam International. As a result, they are making the fight against alleviating poverty more difficult, claimed the report.
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