The G7 Summit is a grouping of all the major wealthy nations coming together, which was first created in the year 1975. The G7 members include Canada, Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Germany and the United States. Usually, the annual Summit is hosted by the country that holds the rotating presidency.
In its initial days, the G7 Summit was held by grouping powerful nations in the world for the top industrialised democratic powers to discuss the global economy. But later on, the discussion expanded to the discussion about global issues such as climate change, security, peace and currently the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc all around the world.
Earlier, in the 1980s, due to the Cold War, tensions began to develop between the East and the West that led to a more political approach in the meetings. Russia had attended the Summit as a guest in 1992, but soon after, in 1998, Russia was allowed for the first time to attend all the summit meetings. This led to the grouping officially being renamed as the G8.
Following the renaming of the Summit in 1999, it was criticised for being an exclusive club during a period when financial crises were being observed successively. Post the criticism, in 2008, the Summit was held in Genoa, an Italian city that left one person dead due to anti-globalisation protestors acting out violent acts of demonstration.
Finally, the G8 was renamed back to G8 after Russia was suspended in 2014. Russia was suspended because it imposed sanctions on Moscow and had annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. In 2019, Trump had called and advised for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 Summit, but he found little to no support in his advice among other western countries. Therefore, the G7 finally got reverted back to being called the G8 Summit.
Last year’s G7 Summit’s gathering was supposed to be held in the United States, but it got cancelled due to pandemic and the ongoing global health crisis. This year’s G7 Summit took place from Friday (11 June 2021) to Sunday in Carbis Bay, near St, Ives. It was hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Discussions in this Summit is going to be predominantly influenced by the ongoing global health crisis due to the pandemic and how the world is going to recover from it. Further, the discussion is also going to be dominated by these major country’s success in holding a mass vaccination drive.
The UK invited countries such as Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea to the Summit as guests. In an attempt to help the world’s poorest countries in developing a clean, green and sustainable way, UK PM Boris Johnson said that the G7 would demonstrate to the rest of the world the value of democracy and human rights.
Also, in an attempt to support a fairer global economy, the G7 has also backed a minimum tax amount of at least 15% on many large MNCs to stop the corporations from avoiding taxes. The leaders of the Summit also said that they promote human rights values and will call on China to respect human rights. The reason is that Beijing is accused of committing serious acts of human rights abuses on the Uyghur minority and in the city of Hong Kong.
China did not take the criticism lightly and hit back at the G7 Summit, quoting that global decisions were not to be dictated by a “small group” of countries and the time of letting this small group have the right to precede over global issues is long gone.
At the G7 Summit on a session titled ‘open economics and open societies, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, highlighted India’s civilisational commitment to freedom of thought & liberty and democracy according to the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) secretary. PM Modi further highlighted the revolutionary result of digital technologies on social empowerment and inclusion in India through applications such as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Aadhar and Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) trinity.