G7 lacks a common voice

(VOVWORLD) - The G7 Summit in France concluded without major results due to differences between its members.
G7 lacks a common voice - ảnh 1G7 leaders and a EU representative at Biarritz summit, France, on Aug 25, 2019. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

The G7 discussed a number of urgent global issues: raging fires destroying the Amazon, an impending global recessuib caused by the ongoing US-China trade war, the Iran nuclear issue, tensions in the Persian Gulf, and looming tariffs threatening the technology giants.

Deep divisions

A one-page final statement showed very little agreement and no recommended solutions.

The summit couldn’t agree on measures to fight inequality, even though France made inequality the main theme of the summit. Paris was unable to persuade developed countries to take greater responsibility in fighting the root causes of hunger and inequality, for example in the Sahel region of Africa.  

They pledged to get involved in stamping out fires in the Amazon, but G7 countries made no serious commitments to reduce green-house gas emissions. US President Donald Trump did not even attend the climate change discussion.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met politicians of France, Germany, and the UK on the sideline of the G7 summit. But they couldn’t help ease the tension between the US and Iran or resolve the impasse between the US and the EU on addressing the Iran issue. Other leaders also failed to persuade President Trump to suspend US sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil exports.

Economics and trade, which used to find areas of agreement among G7 countries, found only differences. Other leaders pressured Trump on the US-China trade war, suggesting that Trump eases tensions with Beijing, but Trump said he only regrets not imposing higher tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump proposed inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s G7 summit, which the US will host. The EU believes Russia’s return to the G7 should be contingent on resolving the Ukraine crisis. Trump has angered EU allies by backing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tough Brexit stance against the EU. Trump has been talking up prospects for a 'very big' trade deal with Britain.

Rays of hope

There were a few signs of hope. The G7 countries agreed to pay 20 million USD to help fight the Amazon fires and fund a UN afforestation plan. France and the US agreed to start taxing technology giants. The US and Japan agreed in principle on the core elements of a new trade deal.

The G7, established to cope with an energy crisis in 1975, has been a model of advanced issues management. But this year’s summit in France involved 7 countries unable to find a common voice on important issues.

Related News