The G7 Summit In Canada — The Good & The Bad

By David Himbara


G7 brings together seven most industrialized countries annually to discuss important issues facing the world. The G7 members are:

  1. The United States
  2. Germany
  3. Japan
  4. Britain
  5. France
  6. Canada, and
  7. Italy.

The G7 presidency rotates among its members. The 2018 presidency is Canada, which hosted the G7 Summit on June 8–9, 2018 in Quebec.

The Good — The 2018 Summit Agenda

The 2018 G7 Summit dealt with four man challenges facing the global community. These were:

  1. Economic growth that works for everyone
  2. A more peaceful and secure world
  3. Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  4. Climate change and clean energy

Clearly, the 2018 Summit Agenda dealt with the issues virtually identical to what GNED500 Global Citizenship covers.

The 2018 G7 Adopted Excellent Resolutions

The G7 Summit under the Canadian presidency adopted excellent resolutions summarized using excerpts from the final statement issued at the end of the summit:

  • Investing in Growth that Works for Everyone (excerpts)

We share the responsibility of working together to stimulate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone and, in particular, those most at risk of being left behind. We welcome the contribution of technological change and global integration to global economic recovery and increased job creation. The global economic outlook continues to improve, but too few citizens have benefited from that economic growth. While resilience against risk has improved among emerging market economies, recent market movements remind us of potential vulnerabilities. We will continue monitoring market developments and using all policy tools to support strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth that generates widespread prosperity. We reaffirm our existing exchange rate commitments. We commit to promoting smart, sustainable and high-quality investments, such as in infrastructure, to boost growth and productivity and create quality jobs. Economic growth is fundamental to raising living standards. We also recognize that economic output alone is insufficient for measuring success and acknowledge the importance of monitoring other societal and economic indicators that measure prosperity and well-being. We are committed to removing the barriers that keep our citizens, including women and marginalized individuals, from participating fully in the global economy. We endorse the Charlevoix Commitment on Equality and Economic Growth, which reinforces our commitment to eradicate poverty, advance gender equality, foster income equality, ensure better access to financial resources and create decent work and quality of life for all.

  • Building a More Peaceful and Secure World (excerpts)

We share a responsibility to build a more peaceful and secure world, recognizing that respect for human rights, the rule of law and equality of opportunity are necessary for lasting security and to enable economic growth that works for everyone. The global security threats we face are complex and evolving and we commit to working together to counter terrorism. We welcome the outcome of the international conference on the fight against terrorist financing, held in Paris April 25–26, 2018. Foreign terrorist fighters must be held accountable for their actions. We are committed to addressing the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, including as a tool for recruitment, training, propaganda and financing, and by working with partners such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. We underscore the importance of taking concrete measures to eradicate trafficking in persons, forced labour, child labour and all forms of slavery, including modern slavery.

  • Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (excerpts)

We recognize that gender equality is fundamental for the fulfillment of human rights and is a social and economic imperative. However, gender inequality persists despite decades of international commitments to eliminate these differences. We will continue to work to remove barriers to women’s participation and decision-making in social, economic and political spheres as well as increase the opportunities for all to participate equally in all aspects of the labour market. Our path forward will promote women’s full economic participation through working to reduce the gender wage gap, supporting women business leaders and entrepreneurs and recognizing the value of unpaid care work.

  • Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy (excerpts)

A healthy planet and sustainable economic growth are mutually beneficial, and therefore, we are pursuing global efforts towards a sustainable and resilient future that creates jobs for our citizens. We firmly support the broad participation and leadership of young people, girls and women in promoting sustainable development. We collectively affirm our strong determination to achieve a clean environment, clean air, clean water and healthy soil. We commit to ongoing action to strengthen our collective energy security and demonstrate leadership in ensuring that our energy systems continue to drive sustainable economic growth. We recognise that each country may chart its own path to achieving a low-emission future. We look forward to adopting a common set of guidelines at UNFCCC COP 24.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, through ambitious climate action; in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening and financing resilience and reducing vulnerability; as well as ensuring a just transition, including increasing efforts to mobilize climate finance from a wide variety of sources. We discussed the key role of energy transitions through the development of market based clean energy technologies and the importance of carbon pricing, technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient and low-carbon energy systems; as well as financing adaptive capacity. We reaffirm the commitment that we have made to our citizens to reduce air and water pollution and our greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century. We welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution titled Towards a Global Pact for the Environment and look forward to the presentation of a report by the Secretary General in the next General Assembly.

The Bad — The United States dropped out and attacked Trudeau

After the G7 Summit ended, the U.S. President Donald Trump dropped a bombshell. He essentially called Prime Minister Trudeau a liar who made “false statements” about Canada-U.S. trade. Trump tweeted:

”Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!”

Trump’s reversal on the joint statement was a stunning move. Trudeau had closed the G7 summit earlier, calling it a success. He called the Summit a success because the seven leaders had set aside sharp differences and come to a consensus to endorse “a rules-based international order” and “free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment.”

Trump added an even further personal attack, tweeting:

”PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak.”

What we in GNED500 learn from the 2018 G7 Summit?

GNED500 Global Citizenship identifies the key challenges facing humankind as follows:

  1. Environment
  2. Poverty inclusive of access to healthcare and education
  3. Peace and Human rights
  4. Gender equality

These four topics were addressed by the G7 Summit. This shows that world leaders are accurately aware of what is troubling the world. That the leader of the leading economy — the US — walked off the summit shows that we are entering an unpredictable future.