G7 and India’s Role

Context: The 50th G7 Leaders’ Summit recently concluded in Apulia, Italy, with India’s participation as an Outreach Country. On January 1, 2024, Italy took over the Presidency from Japan for the seventh time and will pass it to Canada on December 31, 2024.

History and Evolution of the G7

The G7 is an informal assembly of major industrialized nations: the United States, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada. Representatives from the European Union (EU) are always present at the G7 leaders’ summit. The first “World Economic Summit,” which later evolved into the G7, was initiated in 1975 by former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, primarily addressing the economic challenges of the 1970s, such as the first oil crisis and the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system.

In 1976, Canada joined the group during the summit in Puerto Rico, officially forming the G7. The European Community (now the EU) has participated in all working sessions since the 1981 Ottawa Summit. Russia joined the group in 1998, making it the G8, but its membership was suspended in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.

G7 and G20

The G20, formed in 1999, is a larger group that includes the G7 members along with other countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. While the G7 covers a broad range of issues, the G20 focuses specifically on global economic and financial matters.

Mechanism of G7 Summits

G7 nations convene at annual informal summits hosted by the member countries on a rotating basis. The host country may invite dignitaries from outside the G7 to attend. The preparation for the summit, including agenda setting and follow-up meetings, is managed by representatives known as “sherpas.” The summit concludes with the release of a non-binding communique summarizing key political commitments. The G7 does not have a formal constitution or a permanent headquarters.

G7 Summit 2024

Key agenda items included defending the “rules-based international system” amid Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and addressing the Middle East conflict. Strengthening partnerships with developing nations, especially in Africa, was also a priority. Other critical issues discussed were migration, climate change, food security, and the impact of artificial intelligence.

Key Highlights of G7 Summit 2024

Discussions at the summit primarily focused on global conflicts, including the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict. The US and Ukraine signed a 10-year security agreement to enhance Ukraine’s defense against Russia. The G7 leaders also agreed to a $50 billion loan package for Ukraine, using interest from Russia’s frozen central bank assets as collateral. The UK announced new sanctions targeting entities involved in supplying military goods to Russia, including those based in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey.

Relevance and Achievements of the G7

The G7 has historically played a significant role in addressing global issues. In 1997, G7 countries committed $300 million to contain the effects of the Chernobyl reactor meltdown. The 2002 summit led to the establishment of the Global Fund to combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The 2015 G7 summit saw the launch of the Global Apollo Programme, aimed at reducing the cost of clean electricity.

Criticism and Shortcomings

The G7 has faced criticism for being an exclusive and closed group with disproportionate influence on the global economy. The exclusion of major economies like India and China raises questions about its effectiveness. Additionally, internal disagreements, particularly on issues like climate change, have also drawn criticism.

India’s Participation and Significance in the G7

India’s economic growth and geopolitical role as a “swing state” have elevated its significance. By 2025, India’s GDP is projected to surpass Japan’s and shortly after, Germany’s, positioning it ahead of all G7 countries except the US. For India, the G7 offers a platform to strengthen ties with leading global economies and advocate for the reform of global institutions to reflect contemporary geopolitical realities. Through the G7, India can advance regional and global economic restructuring, diversify supply chains, and enhance technological cooperation, all while countering China’s rising influence.

About sree nivas

Check Also

Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted resident individuals to open Foreign Currency Accounts …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Free Updates to Crack the Exam!
Subscribe to our Newsletter for free daily updates