G7 is trying hard not to be yesterday’s club

News: Recently, the G7 meeting was concluded in Bavaria in Germany. It was an important meeting since it took place against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, the challenge of post-pandemic economic recovery and the eternal issue of climate change.

The G7 final communique

It said that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.

In addition, the leaders also called on China to press Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine.

It calls on China to respect universal human rights and fundamental freedoms in both Tibet and Xinjiang. For example, there are grave concerns about the country’s human rights situation like the issue of forced labour.

They issued unconditional commitment to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine. It accused Russia of doing war crimes during the ongoing war.

The G7 leaders warned Russia against the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, otherwise it would lead to severe consequences.

It contemplated severe sanctions against Russia, including tariffs on Russian products, targeting gold exports, capping oil prices and restricting access to technology.

What will be the negative consequences of the G7 Communique?

With the declaration of support, US is supplying the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to Ukraine. Further, the harsh statements made against Russia may have the opposite effect of increasing Russia’s intransigence. It could lead to an arms race.

Earlier, NATO declared that its rapid reaction force, meant to protect the alliance’s Eastern flank, will be increased from its present strength of 40,000 to a whopping 300,000 to create deterrence.

In recent years, NATO has also termed Russia as the most immediate threat to NATO’s security. The alliance also hinted that NATO will deploy forces much closer to Russian borders.

Importance of G7 for India and vice versa

For India, G7 summits have always been an invaluable opportunity to exchange views not just in a plurilateral format but also in the bilateral meetings on the margins of the main meetings. For example, Prime Minister Modi met with the President of the US, and France, as well as the leaders of the UK and Japan etc.

The G7 is still a powerful grouping. Its seven members are in the top 10 economies of the world. In addition, three members are the permanent members of the UNSC. Further, if the European Union (EU) is taken into account, it is home to some of the best emerging technologies.

The clout of the G7 has been declining for 20 years ago since formation of the G20 Grouping. India is part of the G7 and no global problem can be seriously tackled without involvement of India.

India can leverage the opportunities to make the full transition from being a rule-taker to a rule-shaper in at least some crucial areas. India supported the G7 statements as below:

(1) Titled “Resilient Democracies Statement” wherein India can be important to promote a rules-based international order and the other being,

(2) Titled “Joining Forces to Accelerate Clean and Just Transition towards Climate Neutrality”, wherein India, without being responsible for the problem of climate change, is doing everything in its power to be part of the solution. India has requested the Western countries to invest heavily in India’s renewable energy market.

In addition, India’s can also play some role in improving food security, pursuing concerted efforts to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, fighting corruption, protecting freedom of expression, both online and offline, and ensuring an open and secure internet.

India’s participation in this meeting as an observer will help in advancement of India’s foreign and security policy objectives.

Source: The post is based on an article “G7 is trying hard not to be yesterday’s club” published in the Indian Express on 29th June 2022.

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