C7: “G7 stuck in the here and now”




Aoi Horiuchi

This article is originally published at the C7 website on 14 June 2024.


C7: “G7 stuck in the here and now”

Lack of vision, insufficient commitment to the structural nodes at the root of today’s and tomorrow’s crises


Borgo Egnazia , 14 June 2024. The depth of inequalities, the violation of human rights, the threats to the planet, the fragility of global peace call for the utmost urgency and concrete multilateral cooperative actions. A “new peace agenda” is needed to overcome the current polycrisis that is affecting particularly women, children, youth and the most marginalised. It must be an agenda able to ensure a future of rights and social and personal development for all, building trust on respect for shared rules, such as international law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Human rights and the 2030 Agenda, consolidating the role of international multilateral bodies called upon to enforce these rules, avoiding double standards and attacks on institutions.Collective and shared security must be seen as a pillar of “Positive Peace”, pursuing mutual security instead of at the expense of another state. The G7 should invest in trust, solidarity, universality and global disarmament (both nuclear and conventional) instead of in a ‘muscular confrontation’. Resources should be allocated to addressing structural and systemic challenges, to pursue justice and sustainability for all. The almost unconditional support of the G7 to Ukraine must be oriented in this perspective.

On Middle East we welcome the G7 – for the first time – codifying its support for the work of civil society peacebuilders, answering a call from global civil society. Equally, the call for an “immediate and total ceasefire” stemming from the recent Security Council resolution is to be welcomed. However, within the longest G7 Communiqué on Israel-Palestine in recent years, there is no clear language on the Israeli military occupation, nor clarity on how a diplomatic path can be built that can end it, and deliver security and self determination to both peoples. A mention in the Communiqué about immediate unrestricted humanitarian access for the population is still lacking, as well as the reference to participatory plans for Gaza Stripe reconstruction. The G7 must ensure that its economic policies and agreements with Israel do not promote potential genocide, an obligation of the signatories of the Genocide Convention and international humanitarian law, using consequent actions, like suspension of arms selling.Only a few lines are dedicated to Lebanon, where the humanitarian situation is very serious. We cannot afford any escalation on that front, as it would have harsh consequences for the civilian population already tried by years of economic crisis and because it could trigger consequences in the region that are difficult to manage. Finally, it is emblematic how the Yemeni question is approached only from the point of view of (Western) commercial interests without devoting a single word to the continuing conflict in that country, support for the peace process and support for a population exhausted by years of continuous suffering and food insecurity.

No progress on debt relief. The G7 Communiqué recognizes the increase of the debt burden but simply promotes the implementation of the Common Framework, a process that has proven to be insufficient in providing a debt resolution. In addition, the mentioned Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR) is still an exclusive space, where not all countries are at the same table. The C7 reaffirms its call to go beyond the Common Framework towards a multilateral debt legal framework where a non-creditor led process is coordinated. This must be an element of a renewed International Financial Architecture, able to respond to a comprehensive analysis of the needs, including also, but not only, the Climate Resilient Debt Clauses (CRDCs), based on the national and global 2030 Agendas, a fairer international taxation system and engaging the participation of civil society to promote public monitoring and transparency.

It’s time for action on climate. We need concrete steps to move away from fossil fuels, in a rapid and just manner, and transitioning directly to renewable energy systems. All over the world, communities, people and nature are increasingly suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity. The G7 leaders echoed the conclusions of the Turin Ministerial Meeting by confirming the commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C and the COP28 decision in Dubai to “move away from fossil fuels”. But there are still no clear plans to move away from gas and oil, while there has been a move on coal, deciding to abandon its use in the first years from 2030. Still, investing in new gas infrastructures is unacceptable, while G7 countries need to invest in renewables and triple them domestically by 2030. About climate finance, G7 needs to move from readiness to play an active role in financially fueling the efforts of the UN Conferences of the Parties on climate and biodiversity to actually play it. The G7 must fulfil their obligations to deliver public, adequate, new and additional and non-debt creating Climate Finance for developing countries.  Climate Finance should cover mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and just transition.  There should be massive scaling up of G7 commitments far beyond the $100 billion annual pledge which is only a small fraction of the amount needed and due to the developing countries. We welcome leader-level engagement and endorsement of the G7 Water Coalition established by climate ministries, and call for increased action on water and sanitation to deliver on climate adaptation goals, alongside tackling issues across the One Health spectrum. On climate and nature protection, the G7 has an enormously disproportionate responsibility compared to other countries for the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity, and also disproportionate resources and capacity to respond: but action is still too slow, while the climate crisis is speeding up.

Need for facts on food policies. On food policy, the G7 Communiqué launches some signals but we don’t see facts yet.  The main action is the launch of the Apulia Food System Initiative (AFSI), but the details will be announced only in the Ministerial Meeting of the Development Ministers expected in October. While we appreciate the reference to include the enhancement of “sustainability and productivity of local, regional, and global supply chains” and to “addressing discriminatory rules and norms that affect gender equality”, we reiterate our strong concern about the need for participatory processes: there is no comprehensive reference to the active involvement of the main players, the small scale farmers, their associations and network. Without their inclusion, any policy or program can’t be effective, sustainable and fair.The engagement of farmers and civil society has to be clear and strong in all the initiatives proposed by the G7: the AFSI, the G7 coffee initiative, the tools for preventing Food Crisis, and the trade and investments initiatives, like PGII and others. Sustainable, fair and just food systems transformation can be built only through an agroecological approach, and participatory and democratic processes at all levels, from the local level up to the UN’s Committee on World Food Security.

Migration is not an emergency. The G7 vision should be to shift the focus from an emergency approach to an encompassing and long-term one, turning migration flows into predictable, safe, regular and manageable migration channels, ensuring full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, regardless of their migratory status. But the G7 Leaders Communiqué is focusing on the “root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement” and not the root causes of unwanted migration and human mobility per se. There are no differences in these so-called root causes, and the focus should be on improving regular migration and ensuring safe-pathways for each type of migration.Regular migrations are also central to combating the root causes of poverty in countries of origin, facilitating cultural and economic prosperity, flexibility in the occupancy sector and dignifying employments in destination countries. We call the G7 Italian presidency to adhere again to the Global Compact on Migration, and the G7 members to change the narrative on migration, aware that development leads to increased migration in the short to medium term and that regular and safe migration paths would have positive impacts for all parties involved. The G7 countries in the near future will have to replace their migration policy approaches, that today externalise borders, with human-rights-centred cooperation in support of migrants and host communities’ wellbeing, including expanding occupational opportunities in destination countries.

More ambitious commitment on Universal Health Coverage. We call for clearer and stronger political will and financial contribution, including strengthening sustainable and resilient public and community health systems and responses, and guaranteeing evidence-based mental health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. We applaud the due recognition of the role of the WHO and global health institutions such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and GAVI. However, to “look forward to their sustainable replenishments” is not enough. We call on the G7 to make clear, ambitious financial commitments to fully fund these replenishments to secure health equity. We remain highly concerned by the absence of proper recognition of the role of civil society, key populations and affected communities in global health governance. We urge their full and meaningful participation at all levels and phases moving forward. Only with a human rights, equity-based, people-centred and gender-transformative approach to global health will we effectively achieve the SDGs by removing all forms of exclusion, discrimination and criminalization from health policies and practice.

Hiroshima commitment renewed. We emphasise the need for daring policies on self determination of women and girls in all their diversity and we welcome the commitment to increase ODA for gender equality, which is fundamental for this goal at the international level, but the indication of the target towards which it should be directed is missing.  This would also facilitate the monitoring of commitments for each country.

READ the G7 Leaders’ Communiqué HERE

Press Release from Civil7

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Our flashmob attracted the attention of many journalists and media. A great result for C7 which displayed one of the key messages for the G7 in its t-shirts: G7 can be part of the problem or part of the solution #justjustice  #problemorsolution, #G7

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Aoi Horiuchi