Thursday
July 25, 2024

The 2024 G7 Summit

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By: Kashif Anwar. Research Analyst, GSDN

G7 2024 Summit: source Internet

Keeping in mind the development taking place across the globe whether it’s the Russia-Ukraine conflict, ongoing situation in the Middle East region, China in the Indo-Pacific region and the West vs Russia in Africa have become a concern for the West and group like G7. In this regard, the 2024 G7 Summit was 50th summit which was held in the city of Borgo Egnazia in Apulia, Italy between 13th and 15th June to address their concern and issue through six working session. The G7 summit aimed to demonstrate group member’s strong determination and will power to uphold the international order based on rule of law, and to strengthen their engagement with developing nations. As summit witnessed leaders from 12 nations like India and 5 international organisations like the EU and African Union attended and took part in the four working sessions during the summit. The G7 communique re-affirmed their commitment to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific to be based on the rule of law and strengthened initiatives like the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment Initiative, India-Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and Italy’s Mattei Plan for Africa to address illegal immigration issue emerging from Africa.

The backdrop of the G7 2024 Summit

The 2024 G7 Summit in Italy is taking place in a different geo-political environment which is in contrast when compared to 2023. As in the last few months Israel intensifying incursion in Gaza or Russia intensifying position in Ukraine or West forces withdrawing and being replaced by the Russian forces in many African nations have become concerning for many G7 members. However, as France being the most vocal one to strongly deter Russia in Ukraine, on the other hand, calculated the move by the UK and Germany and Italy’s complete opposition to use of NATO forces against Russia have put G7 members against one another in recent months. With France and the US experiencing a major strategic blow – a military retrieval – in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad the latest addition, highlight Africa is favouring the Russian military presence. On the other hand, the US and France gave Ukraine permission to use their weapons – within a limit – inside Russia like in Belgorod, has deteriorated France and the US ties with Russia.

Within such surroundings, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban accusation of West supporting Ukraine, who sees its wealth as a gold mine for the West who wants to ‘acquire and divide’ Kyiv’s wealth and exchange it with their arms aid and assistance. As the 2024 summit was held under such a backdrop, the G7 members saw the summit as a means to address their concerns and difference among the group and project a unified stand. This is happening at the time when Russia-China no-limit partnership has strengthened and actions and response from Russia, China and many Middle East and African countries, often contradict the West’s approach and have impacted G7 influence in many countries in Africa and region like Middle East.

The 2024 G7 Summit

Among various concerning issues like development, Africa, Climate and Artificial Intelligence are being discussed during the G7 summit. The Israel-Gaza conflict and Ukraine-Russia War being discussed and addressed by the G7 members during the summit are being closely watched globally. As the steps and plans adopted by the members before and during the summit highlight a distant away from addressing such concerning issues to ensure global order.

In the case of Israel-Gaza conflict, an unwavering the US support to Israel has further delayed the two-state solution as they promoted the normalisation of Arab nations relations with Israel at the cost of ensuring peace process between Palestine and Israel and in the Middle East region. Such aspects were well reflected in G7 members’ statement at the time when tension is brewing on the Lebanon-Israel border between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, which could result in the emergence of regional war in the coming times. In such a situation, a strong G7 stand is needed with the US willingness/position to resolve the situation. As G7’s half-hearted and ill-conceived approach to address the situation in the Middle East region will keep the region on a boiling point and could see another October 7 attack in the future.

Concerning the Russia-Ukraine War, to ensure Ukraine achieves a victory against Russia, the summit saw the signing of the 10-year security deal between the US and Ukraine. Such a deal includes providing Ukraine with US$ 75 billion aid of which US$ 46 billion will be military support and to provide squadrons of fighter jets like F-16s. On the other hand, G7 will use US$ 50 billion earned from the Russian frozen assets worth US$ 300 billion and provide it as a loan to Ukraine. G7 members argues such move will be a signal to Russia that they cannot win a war, and it will be wrong for Russia to be hopeful and wait for the Ukrainian resources to deplete. G7 move saw a strong response from Russia and vows to respond with a reciprocal move and emphasised they will find their move a risky affair for themselves in coming years.

Apart from such updates and decision took during the summit, the meeting saw Pope Francis being the first Pontiff to address a G7 summit stating concerns growing around the development of Artificial Intelligence. On the other hand, the G7 took a pledge to tackle their economy from China’s harmful business practices and the economic clout caused by its electric vehicles, steel and renewable energy practices, namely. However, in their communiqué they emphasised that such move isn’t intent to harm China or cause hurdle in its economic development path rather such move was to protect their business from unfair practices and ensure there is a level playing field for everyone, and not controlled by a few.

With host nation Italy project the G7 summit as a prominent global summit, the Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni rejected the narrative of ‘West against the Rest’ and projected the G7 as not an exclusive club. Meanwhile, the absence of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the submit has impacted group’s Middle East policy like the IMEC which is jolted by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Furthermore, expansion of BRICS and statement coming from the group in the recent times have shown it is becoming more relevant to global politics than the G7. Addition of more nations in BRICS like from the Global South and their voice is supported by BRICS. In the coming times in BRICS vs G7, BRICS will take a huge lead and become a focal of global geopolitics.

Conclusion

Considering the global geo-political developments and environment globally, the world watched the G7 summit closely, as how concerning issues like the Russia-Ukraine War, situation in the Middle East and immigration issue have been addressed during the summit. As G7 members emphasised to inflict further cost on Russia causing rift between the West and Russia and also expressed their full commitment, support and solidarity with Israel in their joint statement. The summit didn’t address the concerns of Global South to the development taking place in the Middle East region which was a contrast compared to BRICS Foreign Ministers joint statement released on June 10, 2024 in Russia, which accused Israel for blatant disregard of international law in Gaza. On a brighter side, unlike the earlier G7 summits, the immigration issue was discussed for the first time and seen as a sign of progress and a productive move by the group. However, the development and events taking place in the coming times, will further test the will-power and capacity of the G7 as how they address the voice and concern of the World or BRICS will take the lead becoming the prominent one.

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