xi's moments
Home | Op-Ed Contributors

Can G7 meet the global challenges?

By Pierre Picquart | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-28 08:10


Before the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps, being held from Sunday to Tuesday, and the NATO Summit scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Madrid, many diplomatic meetings followed one another.

In Brussels, the European Summit on June 23-24 validated the symbolic status of a "candidate" for Ukraine to oppose Russia. And in China, Beijing hosted the 14th Summit of BRICS(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on the theme of cooperation and economic openness to fight against crises, especially food crisis.

With the desire to set up a foreign exchange reserve fund to fight against the current monetary disorders, the BRICS Summit emphasized the need to promote deeper and broader global cooperation, to open a new era of progress for globalization and development, to more actively oppose wars, poverty and famine, and to end the abuse of unilateral sanctions and enlargement of military alliances.

Faced with new environmental, geopolitical and economic threats, which include Western sanctions against Russia in response to the Ukraine conflict that has disrupted global supply chains, the shadow of a new Cold War, and continuing COVID-19 pandemic, humankind must respond appropriately to build a better future.

It is to discuss these issues that the Group of Seven leaders have gathered at the Castle of Elmau. With snowcapped mountains, lush green meadows and blue river valleys, the stunning panorama in southern Bavaria is like something out of a fairy tale. This place chosen for the G7 also offers appropriate logistical and security conditions for these meetings.

This is where German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is hosting the leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan and Canada.

The agenda of the current G7 summit includes the war in Ukraine, climate change, the global economy, inflation, the fight against hunger and poverty and health policy, in addition to partnerships in infrastructure and investments, security policy and energy crisis.

The high-level meeting, carefully prepared for a year, is focusing on various international issues. The global health situation, which has not yet stabilized, is for obvious reasons high on the G7's agenda, as are climate change and the challenge of protecting the environment.

In view of the problem of global inflation, given the rising energy prices-for example with inflation reaching 9.1 percent in the UK in May, what are the solutions the G7 Summit has come up with? Lower taxes? A rise in key taxes? The clear answer to this economic, political and social question seems not easy or obvious now. But, according to Washington, the determination of the Federal Reserve, the US' central bank, to control inflation is unconditional.

In the European Union, in the context of soaring inflation and tightening sovereign debt financing in the eurozone, we can expect a change in European monetary policy. But it is also important for the EU to avoid recession and take measures to ensure economic growth is not disrupted.

Sanctions against Russia and continued long-term aid to Ukraine were discussed.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had told the German parliament in a speech on June 22, 2022:" We will continue to massively support Ukraine, financially, economically, politically, and above all by delivering weapons, and we will do so as long as Ukraine needs our support." He had also proposed a reconstruction plan for Ukraine.

Financial assistance for Ukraine, too, was discussed by the G7 leaders. And earlier, Scholz had said that he wants a high-ranking expert conference on Ukraine to be convened.

Following the grain blockade in Ukraine, the United Nations has warned of the biggest famine in decades, as many countries of the Global South continue to grapple with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subjects were not lacking for the G7. France should join the embargo on Russian gold triggered by Joe Biden.

With the main objective of creating a concerted and strong action against Russia, the G7 has found a new dynamic. But it is sometimes difficult to convince other partners.

Since the creation of the G7, everything has changed, and the economic and political relations between the West and the rest of the world have evolved.

Some countries fear that the conflict will degenerate, at the doorstep of Europe. Other nations don't want to take sides. For many countries, issues related to conflict resolution and human, ecological, economic and financial progress will have to be dealt with in a multilateral and concerted manner.

Beyond the decisions taken, there remains the risk, perhaps underestimated, of a new fracture between the West and part of the world.

It is time to open a new chapter, in order to build a community with a shared future for humanity.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

The author is a doctor in geopolitics from the University of Paris-VIII, specialist in international studies and author of numerous works on China.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349