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G-7

Context: The 45th Annual G7 Summit is being held in the French town of Biarritz.

What is G7 Summit?

  • G7 Summit is an event conducted annually where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe.
  • They, by mutual understanding, also form policies or figure out remedies for the concerned issue.

Also Read : African Union

The 2019 G7 Summit, presided over by France, will focus on fighting inequality. France has identified the following five objectives for the Summit: 

  1. fighting inequality of opportunity, promoting in particular gender equality, access to education and high quality health services;
  2. reducing environmental inequality;
  3. strengthening the social dimension of globalization;
  4. taking action for peace against security threats and terrorism; and
  5. tapping into the opportunities created by digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

What is G7?

The G7, originally G8, was set up in 1975 as an informal forum bringing together the leaders of the world’s leading industrial nations.

The summit gathers leaders from the European Union (EU) and the following countries:

  1. Canada
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. Italy
  5. Japan
  6. the United Kingdom
  7. the United States

Significance:

G7 is capable of setting the global agenda because decisions taken by these major economic powers have a real impact. Thus, decisions taken at the G7 are not legally binding, but exert strong political influence.

What’s on this year’s agenda?

On the agenda for this year’s summit will be the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, the European-backed nuclear deal with Iran currently opposed by President Trump, and the unrest that continues to unfold in Hong Kong.

What criticisms have been made of the G7?

  1. G7 gatherings tend to attract thousands of protesters, and it is protested by thousands every year.
  2. Many protesters claim the G7 – which has no representative from any African, Russian or Middle Eastern nation – is completely outdated.
  3. Protest groups also use the worldwide platform as a stage to lobby and campaign on issues that are important to them.
  4. G7 leaders are creating a wide gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ both in their countries as well as across the globe, according to a new report published by non-profit Oxfam International. As a result, they are making the fight against alleviating poverty more difficult, claimed the report.

Policies and actions that has created unequal economies across the globe. They are:

  1. Extreme wealth accumulation by a few.
  2. Failure of governments to implement progressive tax systems.
  3. Reducing funding to public services like education, healthcare and social protection as well as foreign aid.
  4. Under-taxing corporations and wealth.
  5. Not doing enough to curb emissions.
  6. Promoting sexism.

Need of the hour:

  1. Work towards implementing tax models for the rich individuals and corporations to pay their fair share of tax.
  2. Consider how new and existing wealth taxes could be used as a tool to fight poverty and inequality.
  3. Invest in healthcare and education and provide aid to developing countries.
  4. Work towards limiting greenhouse gas emissions down to zero well before mid-century.

Current Affairs 2020

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