The G7 – Group of seven- is an intergovernmental political forum consisting of the seven economically advanced countries of Germany, Italy, France, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, and Japan, accompanied by the European Union as an unlisted participant.
The G7 summit unites leading economies worldwide to shape global developments, address widespread and interconnected challenges, and respond to emerging global emergencies. The G7 summit, held annually, was held in Hiroshima, Japan this year, owing to the rotatory presidency falling on Japan.
According to Prime Minister Kishida the decision to hold the summit in Hiroshima was a demonstration of Japan’s determination to oppose the use of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, which was fuelled by the violence currently taking place in Ukraine.
While the opposing of nuclear weapons was a major agenda of the 43rd G7 summit, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary- General of the United Nations, shed light on the financial crisis and climate change crisis, currently affecting millions across the globe.
Source- UN News
In his press conference in Hiroshima, the Secretary-General emphasized the importance of acknowledging the severe financial crisis faced by a significant majority of countries worldwide. He drew attention to the substantial economic disparity between wealthy nations and developing countries with emerging economies.
He spoke for the developing countries, giving voice to their frustration of the world’s “financial frameworks being in favour of rich countries”. He heavily criticised rich countries who “printed money and spent their way out of trouble” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also criticised the IMF for a “morally wrong” decision of allocating 280 billion US dollars to the G7 countries, who are well off with a population of only 772 million people, while the African continent, home to 1.3 billion people and a developing country, was given only 34 billion US dollars.
He also highlighted the need for a new and modern financial system which can align with the modern world as opposed to the outdated 1945 Bretton Woods System. Guterres encouraged the other G7 countries to follow in Japan’s footsteps of leveraging private finance to help develop countries at a reasonable cost.
Guterres stated that with the present policies which are responsible for controlling climate change have not been particularly effective in achieving their goals. “With the present policies, we are heading for a temperature rise of 2.8 degrees by the end of this century. The next five years are likely to be the hottest on record” said Guterres.
The Secretary- General proposed an Acceleration Agenda which aimed at reaching net-zero emissions, for the G7 countries by 2040, and for the developing countries by 2050. This acceleration would also be done by providing developing countries with financial and technical resources to decarbonize their country, as suggested by the Climate Solidarity Pact.
The address was ended by calling upon world leaders to take responsibility in shaping young minds to be encouraged towards taking action to create positive changes in the world.
“We must invest in and empower today’s young people to be changemakers for a safer and more secure world”- Antonio Guterres.