Current Affairs – 8
What is G7
G7 is an elite club of seven most wealthy democracies of the world who share similar values with regard to human rights, equality, and economic matters.
Who are its members
Presently, the members are The United States, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Position of Russia
Russia was co-opted as a member in 1998, when G7 was renamed as G8. However, after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed its Crimea province, the other member punished Russia by expelling it from the elite club. G8 became G7.
Who attend the summit
G7 holds its Heads of State meetings for two days each year. The member countries take turns to host the summit. This year, it is being hosted by France at its seaside resort Biarritz. Apart from the Heads of State, the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Council also attend the summit meeting.
What are the G7’s priorities
The G7 focuses on global environmental crises, promotion of economic and trade across the world, curbing spread of deadly infectious diseases, and other political issues. The ministers and officials of the G7 countries meet regularly at periodic intervals to exchange views on different international issues.
Criticism of G7
The G7 club is no stranger to criticism. Many say, it is too elitist, and doesn’t represent large parts of the globe, such as Africa, and Latin America. It also excludes China although it’s the second largest economy in the world, and the country with the highest population. G7 authorities point to the fact that China is still not a ‘free’ country that cherishes liberal values, and its per capita income is still quite low.
Apart from such criticism, G7 summit meetings regularly attract massive demonstrations by environment activists, anti-globalization groups, and myriad such elements that see G7 as perpetuating world’s evils.
Its notable achievements
G7’s initiatives to combat malaria have stopped millions of deaths due to this disease. It also has succeeded in materializing the Paris Climate Accord, although President Trump has put a spoke in the matter by threatening to pull out of it. Trump has also taken an anti-free trade stand that imperils global trade.
Every year G7 also invites other important global leaders to take part in the deliberations. This year, India’s prime mister, Mr. Modi has been invited to the Biarritz summit.