The 44thG7 summit, 2018 was held at La Malbaie Quebec, Canada. It was Canada’s sixth time as a host since 1981. USA, UK, FRANCE, GERMANY, CANADA, ITALY and JAPAN are the permanent G7 members with the EUROPEAN UNION as an observer.The main themes of this year focused on finding real solutions for promoting women empowerment, clean energy, economic growth and global security that would work for everyone.
The Charlevoix communique says that Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are critical to building peace, reducing poverty, growing our economies, and achieving sustainability. It also acknowledges the existence of gross gender inequalities that exist and creates barriers for women in political, social and economic spheres.
The 2018 G7 SUMMIT aimed at promoting women’s full economic participation by helping in reducing the gender wage gap, supporting women business leaders and entrepreneurs and recognizing the value of unpaid care work.
Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, today announced an investment of close to $3.8 billion CAD, marking a fundamental shift toward improving access and reducing barriers to quality education around the world. The Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countriespresented the focus areas if this investment which were1)Equipping women and girls with the skills needed for the jobs of the future 2)Improve training for teachers to provide better curriculum for women and girls 3)Improve the quality of available data on women’s and girls’ education 4)Promote greater coordination between humanitarian and development partners 5)Support innovative education methods, especially for vulnerable and hard to reach groups, including refugees and displaced people 6)Support developing countries in efforts to provide equal opportunities for girls to complete at least 12 years of quality education, from primary to secondary school.
In line with the G7 Roadmap for a Gender-responsive Economic Environment 2017, the members committed to eliminating sexual and gender-based violence in all its forms and the Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts was signed.
The G7 members sworn to increase system accountability for consistent implementation of commitments for women and girls in humanitarian action with the WHISTLER DECLARATION ON GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION.
The talks were aimed at fighting trade protectionism and tax evasion, reduction of tariff and non- tariff barriers, modernising world trade organisation by making a rule-based international trading system and to promote inclusive growth so that everyone could benefit, especially those who are at the verge of being left behind. The members reinstated there firm desire to eradicate poverty and inequalities, advance gender equality, and create decent work and quality life for all.
THE TRUMP FIASCO
Recently, the trump administration increased the tariffs on steel and aluminium stating national security as a reason which was seen as undermining by the other countries. During the summit, this led to a rift between Donald Trump and the other members. Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a liar and accused Canada of putting high tariffs on US farmers, workers and companies. He refused to sign theCHARLEVOIX COMMUNIQUE and withdrew from the summit strengthening USA’s isolation and the summit being dubbed as “G6+1”. He also proposed reinstating RUSSIA once again as a member.
The members stood on their commitment towards protecting democracies from foreign threats. This was in the context of the 2014 Russian illegal annexation of Crimea, which was also the reason for suspension of Russia from G8 SUMMIT.
They called for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and prohibited use of chemical weapons in Syria and condemning Daesh (the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) with its hateful ideology.
They maintained their stance on Iran’s ballistic missile program is a threat to international security. They called for humanitarian action for Rohingya Muslims and expressed grave concerns over Gaza violence and the situation of Israeli –Palestinian conflict. They also reiterated their support towards maintaining African security and stabilizing the democracy and unity in Libya as it plays an important role in Mediterranean region and Europe too.
The members signed the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communitiesrecognising the harmful effects of the plastic economy and the creating the roadmap for countering the effects of plastic waste in oceans. They further reaffirmed their commitment towards PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT.
In December 2017, Justin Trudeau announced the emphasis on women and girls. To bring this into action he assembled a high-level Gender Equality Advisory Council, convening the likes of Melinda Gates and Malala Yousafzai to advise him on what he hoped would be “bold, feminist” proposals for G7 leaders to take forward.
Even though this year’s G7 SUMMIT was highly vocal about bringing in gender equality than any other summit it did lack specifications in reference to resources and accountability. Women reproductive health and rights was a major area that was missing. But hopefully, this would act as a stepping stone for better policies next year under the presidency of France.
By: Ekta Bhardwaj
By: Ekta Bhardwaj