The G7 governments have a problem. The war in Ukraine against Russia is not won. It looks set to be a long grinding conflict, possibly with no end. And yet the world and particularly Europe depends on Russian energy supplies. The G7 has agreed to stop buying Russian oil, as part of its programme of using economics sanctions as a war weapon. But up to now, energy imports from Russia have not been stopped because it would mean a catastrophe for the EU countries, particularly Germany. And Russia is still selling huge volumes—globally – albeit at a discount from the world price—to India, China and other energy-thirsty economies.
There were cautious hopes for the G7 meetings held in early June this year, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the world’s seven economically wealthiest countries – came together to discuss key global issues. A remnant of the neo-colonial nature of such forums, they represent a place where decisions with global impact are made.
The G7 produced two notable outputs that concern global health governance: the first being the Carbis Bay Health Declaration which commits to taking efforts to prevent a pandemic similar to COVID-19 occurring again in the future; and the second being a commitment to provide more than a billion vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year.
In these Covid times, “There is an ongoing attempt to reframe G7 as the representative and champion of the democratic world in the struggle against autocracy, shorthand for China…. West’s indifference to the vaccination needs of the developing world will be on full display at the G7 summit”.
Fine words will accompany the G7 summit this week. Much will be promised. And little will be delivered. It has long been like this. The G7 is no longer fit for purpose. Comprising the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, in the 1970s the G7 was the overlord of the global economy. Today, the G7 is but a pale shadow of what it once was, reduced to the role of a declining faction within the global economy. It still talks in grandiose terms about its intentions, but the world has learnt to discount them. It is entirely appropriate that this week’s summit will be chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a grandmaster of verbal exaggeration and empty gestures.
The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”.
The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly won’t be a reset.
The controlling interests behind the hologram that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian” threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia and China.
The foreign ministers of G7 countries met ahead of the Cornwall Summit in early June 2021, and released a joint statement that set the tone for the global agenda and focused on their deep concern about the ‘perceived’ threats from China and Russia among other focal points that included international vaccine sharing program. Newsclick’s Editor-in-Chief, Prabir Purkaysatha explains the real agenda of the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK.Read More »
While G7 leaders acknowledged during their summit this week that the current system of research and development is failing to deliver innovation and affordable access to medicines and vaccines for people around the world, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is disappointed that the solutions proposed by the G7 will not address these failures head-on.Read More »