G7 Summit: priority given to Africa, urgent action

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(VOVWORLD) - The Summit of the Group of Seven industrial countries (G7), is being held in Borgo Egnazia, Italy, at a time when the West is facing global geopolitical and economic conflicts and the heads of some G7 countries are confronting major internal challenges.



G7 Summit: priority given to Africa, urgent action - ảnh 1The G7 Summit takes place at Borgo Egnazia Hotel in Puglia, Italy from June 13-15, 2024. (photo: DPA)

Italy, the Chair of the G7, has invited to the Summit Pope Francis and the leaders of Brazil, Argentina, India, the UN, the World Bank, and the African Investment Bank.

Priority given to Africa

The meeting is taking place amid a complexity that includes armed conflicts, geopolitical confrontations, economic competition, and the challenges posed by climate change and artificial intelligence. A heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of the G7 to craft a clear and visionary call to action.

Italy has put Africa high on the agenda of this year's Summit. At the opening ceremony on Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that hosting the Summit represents Italy’s intention to dialogue with Africa and the rest of the Global South.

As rotating Chair of the G7, Italy wants to dedicate ample attention to another continent that is fundamental to the future of everyone – Africa, with its difficulties and opportunities, which calls for a different approach from the one we have taken in the past,” said Meloni.

At the beginning of the year the Italian government proposed the "Mattei Plan" with an initial 5.9 billion USD to promote sustainable cooperation models in energy, education, health, agriculture, and environment in African countries. This initiative has been well received.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said paying attention to Africa is worthwhile because it possesses huge mineral resources and plays a key role in global energy transition, but still produces less than 1% of the world's renewable energy. The G7 needs to increase financial and technological support for Africa and other developing countries, said Guterres.

We need a clear commitment from the G7 on doubling finance for adaptation by next year, and closing the adaptation finance gap,” he said.

Besides African development, the G7 Summit will also discuss climate change, the situation in the Middle East, the Ukraine conflict, migration, the Indo-Pacific region, AI, and renewable energy. Pope Francis, attending a G7 Summit for the first time, delivered a speech on ethical concerns related to artificial intelligence.

G7 Summit: priority given to Africa, urgent action - ảnh 2UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (photo: XNA/ VNA)

Urgent action

This year some countries’ internal problems are threatening to overwhelm global issues. US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida all have low approval ratings. Biden is fighting an uphill re-election battle complicated by his son Hunter’s recent conviction on felony gun possession charges.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suffered losses in the European Parliament elections. President Macron responded by calling for early legislative elections later this month, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will have an early general election on July 4.

According to Raffaele Marchetti, Professor of International Relations at Italy’s Luiss University, this year's Summit is more urgent than ever and the heads of the G7 countries have outlined bold plans for the Ukraine and Gaza Strip conflicts, economic competition, and managing AI and relations with China.

“This is the special G7 because some of the leaders may not be there in the G7 next year. It’s the special G7 also because most likely next year there will be a different new political posture in many G7 countries. So they need to take decisions and increase their cohesiveness now because next year many issues might be managed differently,” said Marchetti.

Riccardo Alcaro, a research coordinator with Italy’s International Affairs Institute, said the G7 no longer holds the dominant position in setting the global agenda. Therefore, the G7 leaders must show a stronger determination to act than they have shown recently.

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