G7: Formation, Agenda and Performance

Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.





Context: 

  • The United Kingdom invited the Indian Prime Minister as a guest to attend the 47th G7 summit that is scheduled to be held in June 2021.

Relevance: 

  • G.S Paper II> Bilateral, Regional & Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India's Interests
What is G7

About:

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975.
  • The bloc meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
  • The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.

Members:

  • G-7 is a bloc of industrialized democracies i.e. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
  • 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

Summit Participation:

  • Summits are held annually and hosted on a rotation basis by the group's members.
  • 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 leaders of important international organizations like the European Union, IMF, World Bank and the United Nations are also invited.

Difference between G7 and G20 

  • G7 mainly has to do with politics whereas the G20 is a broader group that focuses on the global economy

India and G-7

Previous Participation:

  • The participation of India at the 45th summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019 is a reflection of deepening strategic partnership and recognition of India as a major economic power.
  • India was also invited to the 2020 summit hosted by the USA which could not take place due to the pandemic.
  • Previously India had attended the G-8 summit (it became G-7 from G-8 with the expulsion of Russia in 2014) five times between 2005 and 2009.

Important Platform for Deliberations:

  • India’s ability to safeguard its core sovereign concerns such as trade, the Kashmir issue and India’s relations with Russia and Iran can be discussed with G7 members.

Taking on Global Stage:

  • India raised issues on climate change and at meetings which signaled India’s growing willingness to lead on issues that are points of contention for countries like China and the USA.

Significance of India at G7:

  • As current president of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) and G20 president in 2023, India will play a key role driving in multilateral cooperation helping to build back better around the world.

 

47th G7 Summit 2021

  • Held in June 2021 in the United Kingdom. The Indian Prime Minister and representatives from South Korea, South Africa, and Australia were also invited as the guest nations to the 47th Summit. Read about India-UK Relations in the linked article
  • The Objective of the 47th G7 Summit was to unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from the coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future. It aimed at:
    • Leading the global recovery from the Novel Coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics
    • Promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade
    • Tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity
    • Championing globally shared values in open societies.  
    • International pressure has also been built over the G7 countries to contribute funds towards climate change and the provision of surplus Covid-19 vaccines for economically weaker countries. This was one of the causes of concern for the 7 countries as they themselves have faced severe economic losses during the pandemic period
    • Discussion over raising funds for climate finance was another key issue that was taken care of during the 47th G7 Summit
India’s Stand

India is a natural ally for the G7. 

  • The Prime Minister of India called for a “one earth, one health” approach to deal with the global pandemic situation and also conveyed India’s commitment to finding a “collective” solution to global health challenges. He also highlighted the need to keep raw materials for manufacturing vaccines easily available. 
  • In order to boost vaccine production in countries like India, India emphasizes maintaining open supply chains for procuring vaccine raw materials. 
  • The Prime Minister also sought support from G7 nations for the TRIPS waiver proposal moved by India and South Africa at the WTO. The waiver is expected to increase the production of vaccines in India. 
G7 and China
  • The leaders of G7 resented China’s behaviour towards the Uyghur community in its Xinjiang region, autonomy in Hong Kong, and the situation in the East and South China Seas. The nations have asked China to show respect towards the human rights of minorities.
  • The nations also encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues across the Taiwan Strait, as it has caused instability and lack of peace in the region. 
  • The G7 leaders also recommended a more transparent science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 investigation on the origin of COVID-19, amid allegations that a likely laboratory leak in Wuhan city may have a connection with the start of the pandemic.  
  • To counter China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the G7 nations have decided to support developing countries on a global infrastructure plan. On similar lines, the US President proposed the “Build Back Better World” (B3W) initiative to counter China’s BRI. 
  • The nations in the summit are also concerned with promoting future prosperity by advocating free and fair trade, tackling climate change and conserving the planet’s biodiversity, and embracing our shared values in open societies, and strengthening our partnership.

Changing nature of G7

  • The combination of G7 and 3 other invitees- India, Australia and South Korea has drawn attention to an expanded ‘D10’ coalition of democracies
  • First proposed by Boris Johnson, the original purpose of D10 was aimed to address China’s growing technological clout in 5G as well as supply chain vulnerabilities that were exposed during the pandemic
  • But gradually, with Joe Biden’s efforts, the group is being seen as an alternate democratic arrangement against the authoritarian states such as China.
Expansion of G7
  • The proposed expansion has suggested the inclusion of India, Australia, South Korea and Russia in the grouping of the largest advanced economies.
  • The existing G7 group has been called an outdated group of countries as it does not include emerging economies of the world and thus it is believed that the group does not follow the current world order.
  • It is unclear that the proposed expansion will be permanent or temporary.
  • Re-inclusion of Russia:
    • The proposal to re-admit Russia is expected to receive strong reactions from other G7 member countries.
    • Russia is seen as an ally of China.
    • 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.

Call for expansion of G7 and China’s objection

  • Recently, the U.S. President proposed the expansion of G7 to G10 or G11,  with the inclusion of India, South Korea, Australia and possibly Russia.
  • Elaborating this logic, the White House Director of Strategic Communications said the U.S. President wanted to include other countries, including the Five Eyes countries.
  • Five Eye is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The U.S. also stressed said the expanded group should talk about the future of China.
  • A Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs official immediately reacted, labelling it as “seeking a clique targeting China”.

 

Ineffectiveness of G7
  • G7 is not representative in current times. When it was established it accounted for 2/3rd of global GDP. But now it accounts only for 1/3rd on a PPP basis and less than 50% on a nominal basis(market prices).
  • Emerging 7(E7) economies of India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey are not part of it. This makes the group ineffective in tackling the global economic crisis as was seen in the 2007-08 global crisis. G20 is more representative than G7 in this respect.
  • G7 failed in tackling global issues and challenges of Climate change, terrorism(ISIS etc), West Asian crisis, COVID 19 pandemic. Its failures include:
  • G7 accounts for 59% of historical CO2 emissions and pledged phase out fossil fuels. Yet there is no visible progress of the same and they currently account for twice the CO2 emission than African continent.
  • In terms of terrorism, ISIS has thousands of fighters from G7 countries.
  • West Asian crisis in Syria, Yemen, Iraq has led to a migrant exodus to European nations. G7 nations failed in addressing this migrant crisis leading to deaths and inhumane statelessness for millions.
  • Weakening of rules-based of trade regime through WTO and trade wars has the active role of G7 countries
  • Alternatives and objectives to pursue:
    • In the context of COVID 19, multilateralism which promotes mechanisms that address global problems is needed.
    • These mechanisms need to be representative and must include current and emerging economies. “The World of 2050” report by PWC predicts top economies by 2050 include China, India, the US, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia. Along with these, Mexico, Turkey, UK. France, Germany, South Korea and Australia need to be included in the new mechanism.

Declining share G7 and rising of E7 in world GDP

  • When constituted, the G7 countries accounted for close to two-thirds of global GDP.
  • According to the 2017 report of the accountancy firm, PwC, “The World in 2050”, they now account for less than a third of global GDP on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.
  • And less than half on market exchange rates (MER) basis.
  • The seven largest emerging economies (E7, or “Emerging 7”), comprising Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey, account for over a third of global GDP on purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.=JIY76And over a quarter on an MER basis.

Global issues that need to addressed in order of priority are:

  • Tackling COVID 19 crisis
  • Reviving international trade and growth in a sustainable method to reduce environmental impact and inequalities
  • Tackling Climate change
  • Counter-terrorism and preventing state sponsorship of terror
  • The counter-proliferation of nuclear and Biological weapons. In the context of COVID 19, extra care must be taken to implement the Biological weapons convention to prevent future pandemics
  • Regional issues need to be taken up
  • Preventing nuclear proliferation with respect to Iran
  • Peace in West Asia, Afghanistan, Gulf
  • Reduction of tensions in the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea



Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.

Enquire now

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.