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Recipes for G7 Summit Success for the 2021 UK Presidency

G7 Research Group London, December 3, 2020

The G7 Research Group London invited Sir Nicholas Bayne, Hugo Dobson, John Kirton, Julia Kulik and Denisse Rudich to look at the UK's history hosting G7 summits and offer some ideas about how to shape its 2021 G7 presidency. Moderated by Denisse Rudich and facilitated by Sonja Dobson. Edited transcript below.


Introduction, by Denisse Rudich, G7 and G20 Research Groups London
The UK at the G7 Summit: From the 1970s to the 2010s, by Nicholas Bayne, LSE
The UK, Prime Ministerial Leadership and Recent G7 Summits, by Hugo Dobson, University of Sheffield
G7 Summitry from US 2020 to UK 2021, by John Kirton, G7 Research Group
Recipes for G7 Summit Success on Gender Equality, by Julia Kulik, G7 Research Group
Focus on Illicit Finance, by Denisse Rudich, G7 and G20 Research Groups London


Introduction

Denisse Rudich, Director, G7 and G20 Research Groups London

Good evening to those of you in the UK and good afternoon to those joining us from overseas. It is great to welcome you to this event organized by the G7 and G20 Research Groups in anticipation of the UK hosting this year's G7 Summit.

My name is Denisse Rudich, I am Director of the G7 and G20 Research Groups London, a strategic advisor in financial crime prevention with Rudich Advisory and co-founder of ElemetaryB. I will also be opening up the event and making some remarks on the G7 and illicit financial flows.

I am delighted to introduce our stellar line-up of speakers who will be guiding us through a whirlwind tour of UK G7 Summitry and hopefully giving us some "Recipes for G7 Summit Success: From London to Lough Erne."

Before we continue, I would like to thank Madeline Koch, without whom none of this would be possible, and Sonja Dobson, who has been instrumental in organizing this event, as well as our partners at the Global Governance Project for their ongoing support.

With regards to structure, we will have a speaking portion followed by Q&A. Please feel free to drop in questions into the chat function or let us know if you would like to ask a question and we will do our best to get to you.

We will begin by getting a bit of a historical overview of the UK's role at G7 summits from the 1970s by one of my favourite British gentlemen, Sir Nicholas Bayne, former G7 diplomat who has been at the negotiating table at G7 summits.

Professor Hugo Dobson from Sheffield University, one of the world's most knowledgeable person on Japan and the G7, who is full of kindness and wit, will speak on the UK at recent G7 summits.

Nicholas and Hugo will be followed by the foremost expert on G7 summitry, from the United States in 2020 and what that may mean for the United Kingdom in 2021 – the wonderful Professor John Kirton from the University of Toronto.

We will then turn to two policy issues that the UK put on the G7 agenda at Lough Erne in 2013 and that I feel should remain policy priorities for the UK Government.

First, the brilliant Julia Kulik, Director of Research for the G7 Research Group, will speak on gender and gender-based violence. Then I will say a few words on illicit finance.

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The UK at the G7 Summit: From the 1970s to the 2010s

Nicholas Bayne

This note reviews the United Kingdom's contribution to the first 40 years of G7 summitry, taking one prime minister at a time. It is limited to economic content, leaving out political issues.

The summit was founded jointly by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing of France and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975. Its underlying aim was to replace the hegemony of the United States, which had prevailed since World War II and was by then causing transatlantic friction, with a cooperative regime of collective management for the world economy by a small group of national leaders.

The G7 Summit, 1975–1997: Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher and Major

Harold Wilson only attended the inaugural G6 summit at Rambouillet and was not influential in its creation.[1] Even so, Wilson established the basic UK approach to summitry. This regards the summit as the personal instrument of the head of government. The UK sherpa should always be close to the prime minister: either the cabinet secretary or a senior member of the PM's personal staff. UK sherpas thus have direct access to their principal, which gives them great authority both at home and with their G7 counterparts.

Jim Callaghan attended three summits and stressed the informality of the G7, saying: "The numbers attending are small and compact. Discussions are business-like and to the point. We do not make speeches at each other. We talk frankly but also as briefly as we can, and a lot of ground is covered."[2] He focused on economic policy to promote growth. The London Summit he chaired in 1977 did not produce durable results. He was therefore the first to envisage the cross-issue deal on growth, energy and trade agreed at the Bonn Summit a year later. This was an early example of iteration, where the G7 does not get things right first time.

Margaret Thatcher, on taking office, had to bring in unpopular anti-inflation measures. At her very first summit in 1979 she was glad to find other leaders urging strict monetary policies to bring down prices. This G7 strategy boosted her efforts to transform the British economy and led her to value the summit so much that she twice broke off election campaigns to attend them. However, apart from this she left little mark on the G7 summits, though she attended 12 and chaired one (London II in 1984). This concept of collective management did not attract her greatly – her priority was to get her own way.

John Major chaired his first summit (London III in 1991) soon after becoming prime minister.[3] The G7 met as the Soviet empire was collapsing and had a very heavy agenda. It made progress on the environment, helping Eastern Europe and debt relief for poor countries. But it critically failed to conclude the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations or to give proper support to the Soviet Union's Mikhael Gorbachev, who was invited to attend. Major concluded that the summits would do better if they had simpler procedures, dropped supporting ministers, and addressed fewer topics. He campaigned for reforms on these lines at the five more summits that he attended, but he made little progress.

The G8 Summit, 1998–2013: Blair, Brown and Cameron

Tony Blair attended 11 summits and chaired two of them (Birmingham in 1998 and Gleneagles in 2005). This gave him scope to make his mark, as follows:

Gordon Brown attended just two G8 summits. He was a strong advocate of the G20 summit and chaired its second meeting. He thought the G8 summit should continue, but with a lower profile.

David Cameron went six times to the summit and chaired it in 2013 at Lough Erne. By then the G8 was focusing more on political than economic issues. Cameron realized the summit had to define an economic role if it was to survive. Yet if the G8 seemed to challenge the G20, it would meet strong resistance. He decided that the G8 leaders should pledge to "put their own house in order" and aim to complement the work of the G20, without conflicting with it. For this purpose he chose another short agenda – trade, tax and transparency. The trade item focused on plurilateral agreements among G8 members, leaving multilateral issues to the G20. The tax debate was welcomed by the G20, as it meshed well with what their St Petersburg summit would do later that year.

Conclusions

A year later the 40th summit became G7 again. The other members agreed to suspend Russia after its illegal invasion of Crimea. This short review of what the UK has contributed to G7 summitry ends here.

Five elements stand out from the analysis:

Preserving these elements should give the UK the best prospects for a successful summit in 2021.


Notes

[1] I was also at Rambouillet in the UK delegation – and have been a summit addict ever since.

[2] House of Commons Official Record, vol. 914 (29 June 1976), column 197.Quoted in Robert D. Putnam and Nicholas Bayne, Hanging Together: Cooperation and Conflict in the Seven-Power Summits, London: Sage, 1987, page 44

[3] I was also there as sous-sherpa for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

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The UK, Prime Ministerial Leadership and Recent G7 Summits

Hugo Dobson

One of the defining qualities of G7 summits lies in the personal encounter between leaders and the interpersonal relationships that they build up between each other, ultimately with the goal of providing the political leadership necessary to make a breakthrough on an issue of the day. So, in the case of the United Kingdom, we obviously need to pay attention to models of prime ministerial leadership.

Traditionally, in this field, the focus is placed on the three mid-range factors: 1) executive politics ranging from the centrality of the prime minister through to cabinet government and then core-executive studies as a compromise that brings other individuals and institutions into play; 2) party leadership in that a prime minister is the leader of a party as well as the country and has to manage intra-party dynamics; and 3) the skills and style of an individual prime minister and how they relate to governing competence.

However, if we are going to get a fuller picture of prime ministerial leadership in general and in the context of global summits, we may be missing something at the micro and macro levels (see Figure). At the micro level, there may be a need to include psychological aspects of individual prime ministers. My own interest in Japanese leaders illustrates this – take former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and the chance of redemption for his short-lived first administration as a factor in understanding his long-lasting second administration. At the macro level, what about the broader context within which prime ministers are operating – for example, rising inequalities, rising populism, Brexit, anti-politics and the pandemic, which has exacerbated all these things.

Of course, all these levels are interconnected, as is shown in the case of Tony Blair, whose personal leadership style was a key factor in the transformation of voter perceptions of the Labour Party, which was in turn a key factor in delivering a landslide election victory in 1997. The centrality of his role in executive politics and party management delivered two more landslide victories, which enabled him to continue demonstrating prime ministerial leadership. Yet he was also the architect of a negative operating environment at the macro level as a result of his intervention in Iraq. Similarly, in the context of global summitry, as Sir Nicholas Bayne explains, we can see Blair able to exercise strong prime ministerial leadership, innovate and reform the G8 summit process by bringing in Russia and separating leaders from their finance and foreign ministers at the Birmingham Summit of 1998 and ultimately take responsibility for one of the most high-profile and successful summits at Gleneagles in 2005.

Applying this fuller, multi-level picture of prime ministerial leadership to recent prime ministers, we get a richer understanding. However, it is an understanding, I would argue, of weak summit performances.

As regards Theresa May, she became prime minister in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and Cameron's resignation – a challenging macro-level environment by any standards but exacerbated by continuing austerity and rising populism. She sought to provide "strong and stable" leadership but was never fully in charge of her cabinet, as seen in one of the highest rates of resignations. She was unable to manage her deeply divided party and weakened her position even further by calling the unnecessary 2017 general election and losing her majority. She never came across as a people person with the necessary interpersonal skills of empathy and emotional intelligence. Her ability to handle the pressure of the job and make decision was constantly questioned.

As a result, it is no surprise to see that May struggled at the two summits she attended. Brexit deadlock was the challenging context throughout her premiership and made her discussions with European partners difficult while she kept one eye on rebellions and resignations at home. At the Taormina Summit in 2017 she had to return home early to fight the election campaign that she did not have to fight. There was also the Trump factor and his role as disruptor-in-chief, whether it was discussion around U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change at Taormina or his unprecedented rejection of the final leaders' communiqué at Charlevoix the following year. It comes as no surprise to hear that she described the Charlevoix Summit as "difficult." Many have argued that she lacked the skills and style that are amplified in a format like the G7 that prioritises the personal encounter and that another leader could have relied upon to mitigate against the context of such a challenging environment.

As regards Boris Johnson, when he became prime minister in July 2019 the context was obviously Brexit and populism but he managed his cabinet on the basis of a dangerous "us and them" rhetoric that prioritized loyalty over ability. In terms of the Conservative Party, he was more popular among party members than among his members of Parliament, who regarded him as high risk. Johnson responded with brutality in terms of withdrawing the whip from leading Conservatives who rebelled. His style has been based upon charisma and regarded as unconventional – Britain's Trump in other words. His unconventional approach is part of the psychological, micro-level in terms of a self-perception as a heroic, Churchillian leader in a time of crisis. He was arguably the only politician able or willing to break the Brexit deadlock.

So, at the 2019 Biarritz Summit, Johnson had only been prime minister for a month before he attended his first international summit. Although this performance might not be representative, especially as so much has changed since, we did see his interpersonal skills and his ability to charm on display. There were no gaffes, no buffoonery and no spats – he was "well behaved" in French president Emmanuel Macron's words. Johnson managed to align himself with European partners on major foreign policy issues such as Russia, Iran and Syria while building a rapport with Trump. Ultimately, he seemed to be enjoying himself and the interaction with other leaders.

As Sir Nicholas has pointed out, the summit is prepared as the personal instrument of the head of government with an emphasis on informal debate in a compact group, focused on short agendas, using iteration, and seeking compatibility with the G20 on economic issues. So, looking ahead to the UK presidency of the G7 in 2021, some obvious, liberating factors for Johnson are that he enjoys a large parliamentary majority as a result of 2019's general election and the deadlock of Brexit has been removed. However, this has been replaced by the context of COVID-19 and criticisms of his government 's response to the crisis as well as the core executive itself, which has created divisions within his party resulting in rebellions against lockdown restrictions. In this situation, Johnson has fallen back on his skills and style by recently trying to reassert himself with the departure of Dominic Cummings as his special advisor.

In short, if Bojo can regain his mojo in terms of his personal skills, and with a vaccine on the way that might improve the overarching context, he has the potential to provide much needed leadership at the G7.

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G7 Summitry from US 2020 to UK 2021

John Kirton

On January 1, 2021, Boris Johnson's United Kingdom becomes G7 chair for 2021.

Then 20 days later, Joe Biden becomes U.S. president and brings America back into the World Health Organization (WHO), the Paris Agreement on climate change and much else. Eleven months after, the United Kingdom co-hosts the historic United Nations summit on climate change, to end the UK's global governance leadership in 2021.[4]

So it is a good time to ask what Donald Trump's United States accomplished as G7 host in 2020 and what Boris Johnson's UK will do as host in 2021.

In both cases, more than one might think.

Donald Trump's US G7 2020

Let's look at America first.

Trump's Initial Priorities

US priorities for its 2020 summit were announced on October 17, 2019, in authentically Trumpian terms, as "rejuvenating incentives for growth and prosperity, rolling back prosperity-killing regulations, ending trade barriers and re-opening energy markets … [by] taking a lot of what we have been doing here domestically with such success and trying to encourage the rest of the world to get onboard as we sit here and our economy does so well."

G7 Emergency Summit, March 16, 2020

Then COVID-19 and its massive economic, social and ecological costs came to America in January.[5]

Among the international summit institutions of global relevance and reach, the G7 was the fast, first, rapid responder. On March 16, Trump hosted the G7's first ever emergency summit, doing so in virtual form.

It was a significant success. It produced 26 commitments. It called for and got a G20 summit 10 days later.[6] The G7 followed with its second emergency summit on April 16, and many ministerial meetings and statements throughout the year.

Yet the regular summit, scheduled for June 10, was repeatedly delayed and by December 3, had likely disappeared.

This was partly due to Trump's idea to add Russia's Vladimir Putin, to destroy the democratic purity the G7 has had at the core of its membership and mission since its start in 1975.

Still, by mid October, G7 members had already complied at a strong 80% with their 21 priority commitments from their Biarritz Summit in August 2019. This was well above the mere 62% achieved when Trump took the G7's chair.

By mid-October, compliance was led by Angela Merkel's Germany at 93%, Boris Johnson's United Kingdom at 91%, the European Union led by Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel at 86%, Justin Trudeau's Canada at 84%, Emmanuel Macron's France at 84% and Japan, now led by Yoshihide Suga, at 76%.[7] Then came Trump's United States at 65%, and Giuseppe Conte's Italy (hosting the G20 in 2021) at 60%.

Above all, by December 2, the G7 had completely kept its March 16 summit commitment to "support the launch of joint research projects … and the sharing of facilities, towards rapid development … of treatments and a vaccine." Here the United Kingdom was first in approving a fully tested vaccine for use within a week, backed by governments, firms and universities throughout the G7, and individuals from democracies beyond.

So G7 governance was still alive and well, during, or despite, disruptive Donald Trump's year as host.

Boris Johnson's UK G7 2021

Trump did leave Boris Johnson a firm foundation on which to build, but also much to do to make up for lost time, when he hosts his scheduled summit in late spring or early summer, in either in-person or digital form.

Johnson will be joined there by all the 2020 veterans but two, for Donald Trump will then be home alone, and Japan's Yoshihide Suga will attend his first.

Yet G7 summiteers still must cope with the surging COVID-19 crises and scars, and build back better in transformative ways, including by reinforcing and reforming the major multilateral organizations struggling on their own to meet these global needs.

G7 leaders will thus focus on the 5 "Cs" of COVID-10, climate change, connectivity (in the digital age), commerce (after Brexit), and China (in many ways).[8]

On COVID-19, they must meet their March 16 commitment to ensure the vaccines' manufacture, distribution and above all "accessibility." Will they do so, as Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, and the global scientific community demand, by first vaccinating some people in all countries (led by front-line healthcare workers and their most vulnerable patients), rather than all people in some countries (led by the G7 ones)?

On climate change, the world's only existential threat, in 2020 G7 action had been completely crowded by COVID-19, even as global greenhouse gas concentrations and temperatures reached new highs in the air, land and sea. In 2021, the G7 must immediately kill killer coal, end fossil fuel subsidies, start growing one trillion more trees, and commit to collectively achieve decarbonized electricity, energy and buildings by 2025 and net zero emissions by 2030.

To do this and the others things, G7 leaders need to hold another emergency summit soon after Joe Biden becomes U.S. president and fully brings America back to the G7, to back Boris Johnson's leadership there in 2021.[9]

So they should start scheduling one now.


Notes

[4] It does so immediately after Italy, as G7 member and UN climate summit co-host, hosts the 2021 G20 summit in Rome on October 30–31, whose success depends critically on G7 leadership there.

[5] On February 27, 2020, there were 30 confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States, Italy had recorded its first death a few days before and China had quarantined all Wuhan residents more than a month before. "The only known instances of the starin that preceeded the Biogen conference [on February 26-27, 2020] involved two French patients, ages 87 and 88." The Biogen conference included executives from Italy and Germany (Michael Wines and Amy Harmon, "February Superspreader Kept Spreading, Infecting as Many as 300,000 by October," New York Times, December 13, 2020). COVID-19 killed its first American in early February and over 200,000 by the U.S. presidential election on November 3, 2020. By then, all G7 countries had surging COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

[6] That one generated 47 commitments that members complied with in two months later at a level of 72%.

[7] Compliance was highest with the commitments on: the digital economy at 92%, regional security at 84%, development at 83%, and gender equality at 78%, followed by health at 69%, and trade at 63%.

[8] One might add crime and corruption, and concerns about Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.

[9] Or will the United Kingdom just allow Biden to do his promised new summit of democracies instead? Moreover, many ministerial meetings are needed, starting soon with ones on health, on the environment and on both together?

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Recipes for G7 Summit Success on Gender Equality

Julia Kulik

As part of its distinctive foundational mission, the G7 has been promoting human rights since its first summit in 1975 and promoting social advancement, specifically gender equality since the late 1990s.  Attention to gender equality and related issues, following their introduction on the agenda and in the communiqué, remained relatively siloed and outward looking. The G7 focused on increasing political participation and education for women and girls in Africa, aligning with its overall outreach strategy, which included the participation of African leaders and heads of state at summits throughout the 2000s.

The G7's increasing attention to gender equality in its communiqué was sporadically accompanied by a financial commitment from member governments. Here the standout success was in 2010 at the Canadian-hosted summit in Muskoka, which raised $40 billion for maternal, newborn and child heath, one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals that at the time was lagging far behind. This success was due in large part to the leadership of Canadian-based, children-focused non-governmental organizations that lobbied extensively for the issue to be made a priority at that year's summit.

Two years later, in May 2012, British foreign secretary William Hague announced that the United Kingdom, as part of its G8 presidency the following year, would launch an initiative to prevent sexual violence in conflict. The initiative contained three components. The first was a British commitment to assemble of team of experts, including criminal lawyers, gender-based violence experts, investigators and social workers, who could be easily deployed to gather evidence and testimonies to support the prosecution process. The second was a push from the British government to have other G8 members come to a consensus on an international protocol for gathering such evidence. And the third was the recognition by members that rape and sexual violence be considered "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions.

No doubt top of mind among the G8 foreign ministers at that time were the disturbing reports out of Syria about the increased prevalence of rape and sexual violence, which the International Rescue Committee identified as among the primary reasons that people have been fleeing the country since the outbreak of civil war in 2011. The initiative was funded with an initial $36 million from Hague's fellow foreign ministers – which many observers felt was not enough. Financial commitments are essential, but the power of an international statement and public acknowledgement from some of the most powerful democratic countries on an issue often overlooked and avoided should not be understated. To date, the initiative is credited with reducing the stigma associated with sexual violence and the risk of ostracization from victims' families and communities, supporting survivors with medical and mental health care, and supporting legal reform in countries that have recognized these crimes for the for the time.

Unfortunately since 2014, both the visibility of the initiative and its budget have been in deep decline – due in part to the departure of its champion William Hague from government in 2015 and the cancellation of the second Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict set for November 2019 due to the UK general election. One might ask whether momentum would have been sustained if the initiative had been taken up at the leaders' level from the start, especially now with the presence of gender equality advocates Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau – who at his own summit in Charlevoix in 2018 raised $3.8 billion to educate girls in conflict zones, again thanks to the activism and push from Canadian civil society.

Gender equality is likely to now have a permanent place on the G7 agenda and in the communiqué. Attention has expanded in scope to acknowledge, importantly, that work is needed to achieve gender equality in each G7 member. Action is needed to increase female labour force participation, especially in certain sectors, and to expand parental leave and to reduce the burden of unpaid care work. It is important that the G7 not retreat on commitments to promoting and ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights, an issue that has been noticeably absent since 2017 and the arrival of Donald Trump. Gender equality cannot be achieved without the protection of these rights.

As we look now to the 2021 summit, it is irrelevant whether it will be virtual or in person and with vaccines widely distributed, because we know that COVID-19 has already had a disproportionate effect on women and will require the attention of leaders when they meet for the next several years. They will need to take measures to increase female labour force participation, which in some countries has reached its lowest level in three decades. But it is the alarming occurrence of what the UN is now calling a shadow pandemic that requires immediate action, with several countries registering a 25–40% increase in sexual and domestic violence. Given the UK's built-in summit legacy of the addressing sexual violence, 2021 presents an opportunity for the G7 to take up the issue again, this time at the leaders' level and with a broader scope to address the issue at home as well as in conflict zones, committing new money and engaging with civil society in meaningful way – which the UK G7 presidency has a long, successful history of doing.

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Focus on Illicit Finance

Denisse Rudich, Director, G7 Research Group London

Child soldiers. Trafficked humans. Drugs being sold to youths. Trafficking in parts of endangered wildlife. Counterfeit medicines. Captured states. Acts of terror.

What do these have in common?

Money laundering acts as the lifeline of criminals and corrupt actors and the UK has long played an agenda-setting role in the field of illicit finance at G7 summits. At the 1989 Paris Summit, the United Kingdom and the United States spearheaded the development of the Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standard setter. And at subsequent G7 summits hosted by the UK, there has been an element of financial crime prevention on the agenda. In London 1991, G7 leaders committed to stepping up the fight against money laundering and drugs. In 1998 at the Birmingham Summit, combatting drugs and international crime, non-proliferation and export controls were present. The G7 also called on the creation of FATF-Style Regional Bodies to support efforts of less developed countries. Tax also made an appearance. The 2005 Gleneagles Summit began on the day of the 7/7 terrorist attack in London, and countries took a renewed stand against terrorism. This was also the first time that reference was made at a summit to illegal logging.

But it was at the 2013 Lough Erne Summit that the UK placed financial crime front and centre on the world stage of the "Tax and Transparency" what was the G8 agenda at the time.

So what did the UK and the G8 deliver at Lough Erne? For those of you working in this field will see that the UK set in motion initiatives that we have been working on for the past seven years.

Tax

The G7 obtained agreement with the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories on automatic exchange of tax information and beneficial ownership transparency in line with FATF standards.

Anti-money Laundering

G8 countries committed to:

Terrorist Financing

The G8 pledged to reduce terrorist groups' access to funding and the threat of piracy. It also issued a call for countries to expel non-state actors linked to terrorism.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption

Anti-corruption was also a key issue that was addressed by the G8 leaders, who agreed to:

All these commitments collectively allowed the UK government not only to drive forward domestic reforms, which are still taking place, but also to lead on global initiatives in the field of financial crime prevention.

Following Lough Erne, the UK and the US launched the inaugural G8 Sub-Saharan Africa Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPSD) on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing.

In 2016, the UK hosted a global summit anti-corruption summit with leaders calling for an unprecedented global coalition to tackle the cancer of corruption. This was the first event of its kind with representatives from over 40 countries meeting with business, civil society and sport. It was hailed generally as a success.

So, what could be a recipe for success for the 2021 British presidency of the G7?

The UK is recognized as a global leader in the field of financial crime prevention. But that does not mean that it is not without flaws. But as the UK finds its feet and moves towards a Global Britain, it should place illicit financial flows and corruption front and centre on the G7 agenda.

By linking tackling illicit finance to global economic sustainable development, trade promotion, good governance and pandemic response, the UK has two key opportunities: first, to safeguard the security and prosperity of the UK at home; and second, to prevent the exploitation by criminals and corrupt elites of the trillions of pounds that continue to be injected into the global economy to support the world's most vulnerable and ensure equitable access to medical supplies and vaccines.

So here are some ingredients that the UK could add to the G7 summit:

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled us further into a world without borders. Data without borders. Services without borders. Crime without borders. The UK can use its G7 presidency to develop a framework to tackle illicit financial flows in what is effectively a changed world.

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