G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G7

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- G-7 and India

Context

The meeting of G7 leaders that concluded in Bavaria was attended by India as an observer.

About G7

  • The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.
  • Initially, it was formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues.
  • The G-7 forum now discusses several challenges such as oil prices and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
  • It does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
  • Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.
  • The G7 is trying hard not to be yesterday’s club.
  • It is still a powerful grouping, with seven of its members in the top 10 economies of the world, three of them permanent members of the UNSC.

Important outcomes of the G7 meeting

  • Statement on support for Ukraine: A standalone G7 Statement on Support for Ukraine was issued.
  • There was an unconditional commitment that the grouping will provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
  • Russia was also warned that any use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons would be met with severe consequences.
  • Further intensification of sanctions against Russia was contemplated.
  • Tough language on China: Significantly, the G7 final communique has tough language on China as well.
  • It says there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, it calls on China to press Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine and expresses grave concern about the country’s human rights situation.
  • It calls on China to respect universal human rights and fundamental freedoms in both Tibet and Xinjiang, highlighting the issue of forced labour in the latter.

Significance of India’s observer status

  • The fact is that even the G7 knows its clout has declined compared to, say, 20 years ago.
  • That explains the move to invite key G20 countries as observers to its summits.
  • As for India, its importance lies in the undeniable truth that no global problem can be seriously tackled without New Delhi’s involvement.
  • For India, G7 summits have always been an invaluable opportunity to exchange views not just in a plurilateral format but also in the bilateral meetings on the margins of the main meetings.
  • 2 statements: India has lent its name to two statements issued by the G7. One is titled “Resilient Democracies Statement” and the other is “Joining Forces to Accelerate Clean and Just Transition towards Climate Neutrality”.
  • The first statement talks of democracies as reliable partners seeking to promote a rules-based international order and supporting democracy worldwide including through electoral assistance.
  • The other statement to which India is a signatory is the one on clean and just transition towards carbon neutrality.

Conclusion

India’s participation in this meeting as an observer serves to advance its foreign and security policy objectives and will keep it in good stead when it assumes the G20 presidency in December.

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