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University of Toronto

The Promising Performance of G7 Foreign and Development Ministers
in May 2021

John Kirton, Director, G7 Research Group
May 13, 2021

Introduction

On May 4–5, 2021, G7 foreign and development ministers meet for their first face-to-face discussions since 2019 (see Appendix A). The foreign ministers met in person in London and the development ministers participated virtually. They were joined by their invited colleagues from India, South Africa, Korea and Australia, whose leaders will participate in the G7 summit at Cornwall on June 11–13. The foreign minister of Brunei was also invited as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Debate

As usual, analysts offered different schools of thought on what the G7 ministers would and did achieve.

The first school predicted failure, due to the G7 being obsolete. Shada Islam (2021) forecast that "neither the London meeting, nor its partially-expanded list of participants – nor the invariably wordy communique likely to come out of the encounter are likely to demonstrate the power of democracies to a less-fortunate world." This was due specifically to G7 members' poor performance on the rule of law, minorities and media freedom, as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's scandals, poor G7 accountability, failure to help India on COVID-19 and grant a patent waiver, and China's growing power.

The second school saw ministers producing no clear road map, due to the very big and broad communiqués they issued. Philip Stephens (2021) wrote that "the socially-distanced body language was encouraging" and noted their wide coverage embracing COVID-19, climate change, China, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, clean water, Myanmar, the World Trade Organization and human rights. But he emphasized that "conviviality is not a substitute for organising purpose … The corollary of saying something about everything is that you end up saying nothing much about anything … A short statement would have demanded sharper choices and some hierarchy of priorities." He did acknowledge that the desired clear road map might await the leaders' summit in June.

The third school saw success in countering China, due to U.S. president Joe Biden's effort to counter China's recent anti-democratic and militarily aggressive behaviour. Christian Shepherd and Demetri Sevastopulo (2021) highlighted the meeting's unanimous support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization and World Health Assembly, and criticism of China's actions in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong and its intellectual property theft. The key cause of this G7 success was China's growing military strength and drills and incursions near Taiwan.

Puzzles

These schools neglected to note that the meeting's exceptionally comprehensive coverage came from the need to make up for the lack of such G7 gatherings and action in 2020, in face-to-face and even intense virtual form, and for the exceptionally large set of severe and broad shocks that urgently needed a G7 response. They also overlooked the evidence showing that, at least for G7 leaders, making more communiqué conclusions and commitments on a subject, including climate change, usually coincides with higher compliance with those commitments (Warren 2021). The "more the merrier" rather than "fewer for focus" is what this evidence suggests.

The Argument

At their meeting, G7 foreign and development ministers took several significant steps, producing a strong performance in its own right and promising prospects for their leaders' summit in Cornwall five weeks later.

First, the mere fact that the meeting took place in person provided powerful proof that the COVID-19 pandemic was being beaten in many parts of the world and that full success could come soon. This positive message came despite the powerful reminder of the continuing challenge when the invited Indian foreign minister and his delegation had to self-isolate in London after a member tested positive for the virus. Behind them were their citizens back home who were suffering through historically high cases and deaths from COVID-19.

Yet the in-person gathering of all the other foreign ministers, in increasingly COVID-19–free Britain, showed that the virus was being beaten within the world's most powerful rich democracies, despite problems in France and an uptick in Japan. This progress was based on G7 members' scientific superiority in trusted vaccine invention and production, their democratic values that balanced individual freedom and choice with the collective public good, and their democratically elected leaders who, despite all their flaws, were governing more effectively than their non-democratic rivals of China and Russia, with vaccines of their own.

Having started to win the war against COVID-19 at home by early May, the G7, led by the United Kingdom and United States, started to share their vaccines and other health supplies with other struggling countries, as the European Union had done from the start and the US did with neighbouring Canada and Mexico several weeks earlier. The G7's first biggest beneficiary was India, the largest, most resilient democracy in the world. Many other countries would follow, including hard-hit South Africa and Brazil, as the other democratic members of the BRICS.

The second achievement was the transition from a year of degraded digital diplomacy to in-person governance, where real communication could take place in real time and real trust could thus be built. Informal chats in the corridors, or over a cup of tea, allow for more ambitious and even spontaneously constructed agreements among participants who can transcend the different time zones and the digital interruptions that inevitably come from virtual meetings.

The third achievement was addressing an unusually wide range of issues, both to meet clear and present dangers and to prepare the way for the G7 summit in Cornwall five short weeks later.

Bilateral Diplomacy

The foreign ministers got off to a fast start in London, even though Canada's Marc Garneau had to quarantine upon arrival for three days. On May 3 UK foreign secretary Dominique Raab met bilaterally with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They held a joint press conference declaring their determination to jointly act on climate change, health, human rights, democracy, disinformation, China, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar. Raab also met Japan's Toshimitsu Motegi on May 3.

On May 4, Raab met with France's Jean-Yves Le Drian, with Italy's Luigi Di Maio and with Canada's Garneau. That day Blinken met with Johnson to discuss COVID-19, the environment, trade and defence, Afghanistan, Iran and China. They agreed on the importance of distributing vaccines globally and how the G7 could increase this distribution and international manufacturing capability. Johnson and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi met virtually and agreed to strengthen their bilateral ties.

On May 5 bilateral meetings continued. Raab met with EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Germany's Heiko Maas, as well as with Australia's Marise Payne, Korea's Chung Eui-yung and Brunei's Il Dato Erywan. Johnson had a phone call with German chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the need for all countries to make concrete efforts to cut their carbon emissions, support developing countries to do so, and increase G7 members' climate finance. They agreed to work together in the G7 and before the Glasgow climate summit in November.

On May 6, after the meeting, Raab met with South Africa's Naledi Pandor. He also met virtually with India's Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting

Just before meeting opened on May 4, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (2021) issued a press release that said Raab would bring his colleagues together for "talks and decisive action on the most critical issues." It listed threats to undermine democracy from Russia, China, Iran, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Syria, among other issues on the agenda.

In the morning discussions on the coup in Myanmar, Raab would seek stronger sanctions against the junta, an arms embargo and increased humanitarian assistance. Libya and Syria would then be discussed.

The afternoon discussions would address Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sahel, the Western Balkans, Russia's troop build-up on Ukraine's borders and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, and Belarus.

In the evening session, Raab would outline his vision for the G7 and leading Indo-Pacific democracies to advance trade, stability and climate change control.

Dimension of Performance

Together the foreign ministers produced a strong performance.

Communiqué Conclusions

The meeting produced five documents, excluding the one-page chair's statement on guest country and ASEAN participation. This was an unusually large number for such gatherings. Indeed, it was the third highest ever, tied with five in Canada in 2002 and again in 2010, and just below the seven produced by Canada in 2018 and the six by France in 2019 (see Appendix B). It was the highest for the UK in its year as G7 host. Led by Canada, G7 members with less power and that are not members of the Permanent Five (P5) in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seem to emphasize the G7 foreign ministers meetings, including in the number of the documents they produce.

The first document from London in May 2021 was the 20-page, 133-paragraph, 12,364-word communiqué.

The second was a three-page, 18-paragraph, 1,874-word foreign and development ministers' statement on equitable access and collaboration.

The third was the two-page, 29-paragraph, 1,094-word "Declaration on Girls' Education: Recovering from COVID-19 and Unlocking Agenda 2030."

The fourth was a one-and-a-half page, 26-paragraph, 534-word document on defending democracy from foreign threats and championing shared values.

The fifth was a three-page, 41-paragraph, 1,489-word compact on G7 famine prevention and humanitarian crises.

Together these documents and their contents covered a very wide range of subjects, across the economic, social, ecological and political security domains.

Commitments

These communiqués contained a very large number of precise, future-oriented, politically binding commitments, covering a broad array of subjects.

The main communiqué contained 162 commitments (see Appendix C). It started with commitments on open societies, shared security, human rights, gender equality and foreign and security commitments. Its sixth commitment, and first specific one, was to work with African partners and others on a green recovery from COVID-19, aligned with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement and the urgent need for equitable access to vaccines. Development, the economy, the environment, climate change and health were thus quickly added to the opening priority list.

Most of 162 commitments were on health, with 27 (for 17% of the total). This reflected the high shock-activated vulnerability from the new and largest wave of COVID-19, with cases in India and France putting them in the global top five. It also showed the flexibility of foreign and development ministers in responding to this health crisis, and the clear political security implications of the related, largely competitive "vaccine diplomacy" between G7 members on the one hand and China and Russia on the other.

In second place came the core subject of democracy, with 26 commitments (16%). This reflected the G7's distinctive foundational mission since its creation in 1975, to protect and promote democracy within and beyond its own members, and the new anti-democratic threats from Russia, China and other countries as well as political forces within the U.S. itself.

In third place came the traditional subject of regional security, with 24 commitments (15%). The commitments referred to both classic state-to-state forms of regional security and newer human security ones.

In fourth place came human rights, with 18 commitments (11%). This reflected the G7's second distinctive foundational mission of protecting and promoting individual liberty. Combined with democracy, 27% of the commitments thus flowed directly from the G7's core mission.

In fifth place came gender, with 15 commitments (9%). The concern with women in security was a relatively recent arrival. It had started robustly in 2013 when G7 foreign ministers produced the Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. It subsequently secured a prominent place. It helped offset the criticism from some that all of the G7's foreign ministers, including the one from the EU, were men. (However, the foreign ministers of Australia and South Africa were women.)

Development, in sixth place had 12 commitments (7%). Although the G7 development ministers enjoyed equal status in the title of the meeting, their participation was not equally reflected in its products. This could lead to concern that the pressing political security subjects had crowded out attention and action on development, at a time when the COVID-19 and climate crises created a soaring need for development assistance, just when the UK had cut the generous amount it had long given.

In seventh place came non-proliferation with 11 commitments (7%). Together with regional security, 22% of commitments related to the issues that have been at the core of the UNSC agenda since 1945. This G7 meeting, while hosted by a P5 nuclear power, gave the G7's majority of non-nuclear powers of Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada a chance to offer a different view.

Climate change was in eighth place with nine commitments (6%). Its presence confirmed that climate change was indeed a security issue, as Boris Johnson had argued before the UNSC several weeks earlier. It also showed the ministers' ability to look beyond the threats dominating the daily headlines to address far more silent, and often more invisible, ones. Eight of the commitments on climate change focused on finance, with three of these on the InsuResilience Global Partnership. All nine noted nature-based solutions in general, agriculture, water, the Paris Agreement, gender equality, Indigenous peoples, the private sector and the 26th Conference of the Parties that the UK would co-host in November. Six of the commitments used highly binding language.

Together these top eight subjects took 88% of the 162 commitments. Coming well behind were, in turn cybersecurity, international cooperation, maritime security, East-West relations, crime and corruption, food and agriculture, infrastructure, and macroeconomic policy.

Conclusion

In all, the foreign and development ministers produced a big, broad, timely and well-tailored set of actions that propelled the promising prospects for the success of their leaders' summit at Cornwall on June 11-13.

References

Islam, Shada (2021). "Time to Dump the G7 – It's a Relic of the Past." EU Observer, May 3.

United Kingdom. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (2021). "UK Unites G7 to Take Action against Democratic Threats." London, May 4.

Shepherd, Christian and Demetri Sevastopulo (2021). "China Hits Back at G7 Taiwan Stance." Financial Times, May 7, p. 4.

Stephens, Philip (2021). "The West Is in a Contest, Not a Cold War, with China." Financial Times, May 7.

Warren, Brittaney (2021). "Improving G7 Performance on Climate Change." G7 Research Group, April 12.


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Appendix a: G7 Foreign Ministers, May 2021

United Kingdom Dominic Raab
United States Antony Blinken
Japan Toshimitsi Motegi
Germany Heiko Mass
France Jean-Yves Le Drian
Italy Luigi Di Maio
Canada Marc Garneau
European Union Josep Borrell

Appendix b: G7 Foreign Ministers' Commitments 1993-2019

Meeting Number of commitments Number of documents
1998 London 62 3
1999 Germany 25 3
2000 Japan 85 2
2001 Italy 32 3
2002 Canada 70 5
2003 France 5 1
2004 United States 8 1
2005 United Kingdom 23 2
2006 Russia 12 1
2007 Germany 38 2
2008 Japan 28 2
2009 Italy 55 3
2010 Canada 33 5
2011 France 39 2
2012 United States 37 1 (including Annex)
2013 United Kingdom 52 2
2014 United States 15 3
2015 Germany 164 4
2016 Japan 115 4
2017 Italy 181 3
2018 Canada 200 7
2019 France 176 6
Total 1,279 59

Compiled by Brittaney Warren, August 13, 2019
Note: The 2014 information is from the foreign ministers meeting in New York City in September 25, based on the outcome documents made public by Germany.


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Appendix c: G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Commitments, May 2021

Subject Number of commitments Percentage of commitments
Health 27 17%
Democracy 26 16%
Regional security 24 15%
Human rights 18 11%
Gender 15 9%
Development 12 7%
Non-proliferation 11 7%
Climate change 9 6%
Cybersecurity 5 3%
International cooperation 4 2%
Maritime security 3 2%
East-West relations 2 1%
Crime and corruption 2 1%
Food and agriculture 2 1%
Infrastructure 1 1%
Macroeconomics 1 1%
Total 162 100%

Compiled by Brittaney Warren, May 6, 2021. Note: percentages rounded up.

Preamble

2021-1: We commit to strengthening open societies, shared values, and the rules-based international order. (international cooperation)

2021-2: We commit to tackling threats jointly and committing our resources to achieve shared security. (international cooperation)

2021-3: We will promote respect for, and protect, human rights for all individuals, regardless of where they live and whatever their identity, faith, gender, disability or race. (human rights)

2021-4: We commit to working with the international community to further advance gender equality (gender)

2021-5: We affirm the need to take collective action on the most pressing foreign and security challenges. (international cooperation)

2021-6: We reaffirm our commitment to working with developing partner countries, especially in Africa, to achieve a green, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19, aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, including urgent equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. (development)

2021-7: We commit to supporting developing partner countries to tackle and prevent the interlinked threats of conflict, climate change, poverty, food insecurity, and the health, humanitarian, human rights and economic effects of COVID-19 (development)

2021-8: [We commit to]… building back better so that we are more prepared for future pandemics. (health)

2021-9: We commit to making increased efforts towards achieving the SDGs by 2030, and commit to ensuring that no-one is left behind. (development)

2021-10: We commit to renewing global cooperation, including strengthened G7-Africa partnerships and greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific. (development)

Foreign and security policy

Russia

2021-11: We nevertheless will continue to bolster our collective capabilities and those of our partners to address and deter Russian behaviour that is threatening the rules-based international order, including in the areas of cyberspace security and disinformation. (East-West relations)

2021-12: We will continue to engage with Russia in addressing regional crises and global challenges of common interest such as climate change; arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation; and peaceful, sustainable economic development and environmental protection in the Arctic. (East-West relations)

Ukraine

2021-13: We reaffirm our support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders including its territorial waters. (regional security)

2021-14: We underline our continued support for France's and Germany's efforts through the Normandy Process to secure full implementation of the Minsk agreements, as a diplomatic path for a political solution to the conflict and to lasting peace. (regional security)

2021-15: We remain fully committed to implementing sanctions, recalling that the duration of international sanctions is linked inter-alia to Russia's complete implementation of its commitments under the Minsk agreements and to the return of Crimea to Ukraine. (regional security)

2021-16: We support efforts to strengthen Ukraine's democracy and institutions (regional security)

Belarus

2021-17: We are committed to supporting the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people and to holding those responsible for human rights violations to account. (regional security)

Western Balkans

2021-18: We reaffirm our shared commitment to the security, economic recovery and European perspective of the six Western Balkans countries as a crucial investment for peace and stability. (regional security)

2021-19: We therefore support the formal opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. (regional security)

2021-20: We support further progress on regional cooperation especially through the Common Regional Market, Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and Berlin Process. (regional security)

2021-21: We support the implementation of the reform agenda related to the EU accession negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia. (regional security)

The Indo-Pacific

2021-22: We reaffirm our support for the centrality of ASEAN and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and commit to explore concrete cooperation in line with the Outlook. (regional security)

2021-23: We [reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific which is inclusive and based on the rule of law, democratic values, territorial integrity, transparency, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the peaceful resolution of disputes, and] underscore our intention to work together with ASEAN and other countries on these endeavours through a wide range of activities. (regional security)

2021-24: We recognise the need to incentivise private capital [for quality infrastructure] (infrastructure)

China

2021-25: We look for opportunities to work with China to promote regional and global peace, security and prosperity. (regional security)

2021-26: We strongly support independent and unfettered access to Xinjiang to investigate the situation on the ground. We continue to call therefore for such access for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (human rights)

2021-27: We will work collectively to foster global economic resilience in the face of arbitrary, coercive economic policies and practices. (regional security)

2021-28: To strengthen global cooperation on issues of concern to all we believe it is vital to ensure inclusive processes in international organisations. We support Taiwan's meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly. (health)

DPRK

2021-29: We remain committed to the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all of the DPRK's unlawful Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile programmes in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). (non-proliferation)

2021-30: [We welcome the readiness of the United States to continue its efforts in that regard and] we remain committed to providing support. (non-proliferation)

2021-31: The G7 is committed to working together to ensure the full implementation of all related UNSC sanctions which call upon the DPRK to abandon its WMD and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. (non-proliferation)

2021-32: We further commit to countering the DPRK's sanctions-evasion tactics, particularly its illicit maritime activities including ship-to-ship transfers and the continued use of overseas workers. (non-proliferation)

2021-33: We intend to continue our co-ordination on capacity building, counter-proliferation and proliferation financing. (non-proliferation)

2021-34: We support the peaceful resolution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula (non-proliferation)

Myanmar

2021-35: We are committed to constructively supporting ASEAN's efforts including the work of the ASEAN Special Envoy (regional security)

2021-36: We reiterate our support for the ongoing dialogue efforts undertaken by the Myanmar Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General and her efforts with all parties. (regional security)

2021-37: We stress the need for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees from Bangladesh and elsewhere in the region, and those internally displaced within Myanmar, when conditions allow. (human rights)

2021-38: We continue to advocate for the rights and protection of persons belonging to minority groups. (human rights)

2021-39: We reiterate our readiness to take further steps if the military does not reverse its course. In that regard we commit to continuing to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of all weapons, munitions, and other military-related equipment to Myanmar and the supply of technical cooperation. (regional security)

2021-40: We commit to exercise due diligence in conducting business relationships with military-affiliated conglomerates (regional security)

2021-41: We will also cooperate to prevent our development aid from supporting the military-led regime and to ensure it benefits the people of Myanmar, especially those who are most in need in accordance with humanitarian principles. (regional security)

Afghanistan

2021-42: We support the continuation of the peace negotiations in Doha and efforts to convene a high-level conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul. (regional security)

2021-43: We continue to advocate for the meaningful participation and inclusion of the voices of women, young people and those from minority groups in all discussions regarding Afghanistan's future. (democracy)

2021-44: We also endorse mechanisms that allow the negotiating parties to include the diverse perspectives of Afghan civil society. (democracy)

2021-45: We will work to protect the rights that all Afghans, including women, young people and minority groups have fought for and come to enjoy and value. (human rights)

2021-46: We support the desire of Afghans to live in peace and prosperity, building on the positive economic, social and political achievements of the last 20 years. (democracy)

2021-47: G7 members commit to using international development assistance, advocacy and diplomacy to support the people of Afghanistan's aspirations. (development)

Libya

2021-48: We commit to support the LCMM and UNSMIL's wider efforts to support the Libyan political transition process. (democracy)

2021-49: We underline the need to plan for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups, and all relevant non-state armed actors. (regional security)

2021-50: We highlight the need for security sector reform and the establishment of an inclusive, accountable, civilian-led security architecture for Libya as a whole. (regional security)

Syria

2021-51: We strongly support the reauthorisation of cross-border humanitarian assistance later this year so that those in need can get the assistance they require. (human rights)

2021-52: We are firmly committed to accountability for those responsible for the use of chemical weapons and violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as applicable, and pledge support for the work of appropriate international criminal justice and investigative mechanisms and transitional justice mechanisms. (human rights)

Iran

2021-53: We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon. (non-proliferation)

2021-54: We strongly support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its crucial monitoring and verification work to help ensure Iran's compliance with the NPT-related safeguards obligations, as well as its other commitments. (non-proliferation)

2021-55: We strongly support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its crucial monitoring and verification work to help ensure Iran's compliance with the NPT-related safeguards obligations, as well as its other commitments. (non-proliferation)

Iraq

2021-56: We remain fully committed to Iraq's stability, sovereignty, and pluralism, which will be strengthened by free and fair elections in October 2021. (democracy)

2021-57: We support the Government's efforts at economic reform for sustainable and inclusive development, and to pursue a foreign policy aimed at balanced relations with regional and international partners. (development)

Yemen

2021-58: We reiterate our support for UN Special Envoy Griffiths (regional security)

2021-59: We reiterate the need for humanitarian aid and commodities, especially fuel, to flow unimpeded into and throughout the country. (human rights)

G7-Africa Partnership

2021-60: We reaffirm our determination to strengthen partnerships with African countries, regional organisations and the African Union, building on the progress made under recent Presidencies. (development)

2021-61: We will work with them to boost prosperity, economic inclusion, and stability for all. (development)

2021-62: We will look for opportunities to work closely with our African partners on shared challenges throughout our Presidency year. (development)

Ethiopia

2021-63: We remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. (regional security)

Sudan

2021-64: The G7 are supporting this progress, politically and financially (regional security)

Maritime security

2021-65: We reiterate our commitment to promoting a cooperative system of international governance for the ocean and seas and to maintaining the rules-based maritime order based on international law. (maritime security)

2021-66: We reaffirm the need for all states to act in good faith, to build trust and ensure security on the oceans and seas, and to commit to the peaceful management and settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including through internationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, including arbitration, without using the threat of force or coercion. (maritime security)

2021-67: We reiterate our commitment to the freedoms of the high seas, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and to other rights and freedoms, including the rights and jurisdiction of coastal states, and other internationally lawful uses of the seas. (maritime security)

Non-proliferation and disarmament

2021-68: The G7 priority is to have a meaningful outcome at the NPT Review Conference (RevCon) that advances the NPT's implementation across all three of its pillars. (non-proliferation)

2021-69: We are committed to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all. (non-proliferation)

Open societies

2021-70: We commit to work collectively to strengthen the foundations of open societies, promote human rights and inclusive connectivity. (democracy)

2021-71: We commit to protect in a coordinated way against threats, including from disinformation and information operations, surveillance, malicious cyber activities, censorship, corruption, illicit finance and the closure of civic space. (crime and corruption)

2021-72: We also commit to reinforcing inclusive democratic institutions that protect the rights and freedoms of all persons: including safe and vibrant civic spaces, promoting digital inclusion, and supporting independent media. (democracy)

2021-73: We support the important work undertaken by our Interior Minister colleagues on anti-corruption, addressing online harms and on working with the technology industry on public safety in system designs in protecting open societies online. (crime and corruption)

2021-74: We welcome and support the initiative of the United States to convene a Summit for Democracy. (democracy)

Media freedom

2021-75: We commit to championing media freedom as a vital part of upholding democracy and human rights around the world. (democracy)

2021-76: We each commit to lead by example, by undertaking domestic action, such as developing National Action Plans or similar measures, where appropriate, to improve the safety of journalists, access to information and sustainability of the media. (democracy)

2021-77: We commit to providing practical, technical and programmatic support to journalists and media, including through voluntary contributions to the Global Media Defence Fund where possible. (democracy)

2021-78: We also commit to improving the effectiveness of our support to media by working together and with others to track, co-ordinate and share best practice in this area. (democracy)

Internet shutdowns

2021-79: We reaffirm our commitment to a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance (democracy)

2021-80: We will improve our co-ordination, together with likeminded countries, civil society and the private sector, to address and respond to Internet shutdowns as they occur. (democracy)

Cyber governance

2021-81: We commit to work together to further a common understanding of how existing international law applies to cyberspace, and to build on the work of the Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (OEWG) and the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace in the Context of International Security (GGE), as well as the acquis of the G7, including the Dinard Declaration on the Cyber Norm Initiative, the Lucca Declaration on Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace and the Ise-Shima G7 Principles and Actions on Cyber. (cyber security)

2021-82: Our commitment to Open Societies extends to societies online, including the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet as set out in General Assembly resolutions 68/167 and 69/166. (cyber security)

2021-83: We will continue to promote Internet freedom at the UN and other international fora including through the Freedom Online Coalition. (cyber security)

2021-84: We reaffirm a shared commitment to uphold international law, which is an essential and binding element of the framework for state action in cyberspace, and applies to state behaviour in cyberspace just as it applies to activities in any other domain. (cyber security)

2021-85: We will enhance efforts toward the promotion of this approach at the UN and other international fora. (cyber security)

Freedom of religion or belief

2021-86: As inclusive and rights-respecting nations, engaged in creating a safer, more stable, and more inclusive world, we are committed to promoting freedom of religion or belief for all. (democracy)

2021-87: We commit to co-ordinated action, messaging, and targeted support, where possible, to defend freedom of religion or belief for all, which includes the right to change one's religion or to have none, including through promoting and protecting freedom of expression and combatting all forms of hatred and discrimination. (democracy)

2021-88: Where appropriate we commit to sharing information, data and research on this agenda through existing coalitions, stakeholder networks and multilateral organisations. (democracy)

2021-89: Within existing fora, the G7 will enhance efforts toward the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief globally. This includes but is not limited to efforts at the UN, the OSCE, and through informal platforms such as the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. (democracy)

2021-90: We resolve to continue working on these issues throughout the Presidency year. (democracy)

Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM)

2021-91: We reaffirm our commitment to the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) as part of our ongoing shared efforts to defend our democratic systems and Open Societies from foreign malign activity. (democracy)

2021-92: We commit to bolster our collective capabilities by joining up with the valuable work of other organisations and forums, including NATO. (democracy)

2021-93: We commit to improve our analytical capability to increase our shared understanding of the threats to our democracies and enhance our ability to respond in a co-ordinated way. (democracy)

2021-94: We will work towards a shared understanding of what constitutes malign activity in the information space, including vaccine disinformation. (democracy)

2021-95: We will continue to share best practices and develop common approaches to issues such as tackling foreign interference, safeguarding our elections, responding to disinformation and information manipulation and engaging with social media platforms. (democracy)

2021-96: We reiterate our commitment to working through a whole-of-society approach, engaging closely with civil society and other relevant stakeholders and to supporting partner countries in their own efforts to tackle these challenges. (democracy)

2021-97: As part of this, we will ask the RRM to produce annual thematic reports on different aspects of the evolving threat landscape and possible responses. (democracy)

Arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations

2021-98: We further reaffirm our support for the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations adopted in Ottawa on 15 February 2021. (human rights)

2021-99: We commit to work together and with likeminded partners to deter those who conduct arbitrary detention to compel to action, or to exercise leverage over a foreign government, by amplifying the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations. (human rights)

Sustainable recovery

2021-100: We reaffirm our commitment to achieving an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for all. (macroeconomics)

2021-101: We are steadfast in our commitment to intensify cooperation on the health response to COVID-19, including through enabling global and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (health)

2021-102: [We are steadfast in our commitment to intensify cooperation on the health response to COVID-19, including through]…ensuring that we take concrete action to build better health systems. (health)

2021-103: We commit to reinforcing the central role of the WHO in global health. (health)

2021-104: We commit to achieving more resilient health and education systems, and better pandemic prevention and preparedness against future threats. (health)

2021-105: We are determined to focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. (development)

Enabling equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs)

2021-106: We reaffirm our support for all existing pillars of Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), including its COVAX facility. (health)

2021-107: We support the strengthening of health systems (health)

2021-108: [We support]…affordable and equitable global access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (health)

2021-109: we will further increase our efforts to support affordable and equitable access for people in need, taking approaches consistent with members' commitments to incentivise innovation. (health)

2021-110: We recognise the importance of effective and well-functioning global value chains for VTD supply and will work with industry to encourage and support on a voluntary basis and on mutually agreed terms, including licensing, technology and know-how transfers, contract manufacturing, transparency, and data sharing, public-private costs and risk sharing. (health)

2021-111: We recognise the need to enable a sustainable environment for local, regional and global productions, beyond COVID-19 products for long-term impact. (health)

2021-112: We commit to the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Equitable Access and Collaboration Statement to help accelerate the end of the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. (health)

2021-113: We commit?to?supporting COVAX financially, including by encouraging pledges to the Facility, including at the COVAX AMC Summit in June, disbursing as soon as possible, providing in-kind contributions, and coordinating with and using COVAX, which is the key mechanism for global sharing of vaccines to supplement its own direct procurement, to enable the rapid equitable deployment of vaccines. (health)

2021-114: We support the work of G7 Health Ministers and continued G7 efforts to work with partners to improve pandemic preparedness and global health security, with WHO as the leading and co-ordinating authority, to strengthen health systems (health)

2021-115: [We support the work of G7 Health Ministers and continued G7 efforts to work with partners to improve pandemic preparedness and global health security, with WHO as the leading and co-ordinating authority,]…to develop solutions that embed a One Health approach (health)

2021-116: [We support the work of G7 Health Ministers and continued G7 efforts to work with partners to improve pandemic preparedness and global health security, with WHO as the leading and co-ordinating authority,]…tackle antimicrobial resistance (health)

2021-117: [We support the work of G7 Health Ministers and continued G7 efforts to work with partners to improve pandemic preparedness and global health security, with WHO as the leading and co-ordinating authority,]…accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. (health)

2021-118: We are determined to ensure that lessons are learned and applied from the pandemic. (health)

2021-119: We will deploy our foreign and development policies and programmes to build a more resilient world that is better protected against health threats, including encouraging new public health guidance in consultation with national and relevant international organisations on international travel by sea or air, including cruise ships (health)

2021-120: [We will deploy our foreign and development policies and programmes to build a more resilient world that is better protected against health threats, including]…supporting an expert-driven, transparent, and independent process for the next phase of the WHO-convened COVID-19 origins study, and for expeditiously investigating future outbreaks of unknown origin. (health)

2021-121: Together with G7 Health Ministers, we commit to work in partnership with low- and lower-middle income countries by improving coordination of G7 support for, and collaboration with, public health and health security capacities and their regional bodies in Africa, Asia and other regions, building on the G7 commitment to support implementation of and compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) in 76 countries, taking into account the recommendations from the IHR Review Committee. (health)

2021-122: We will align with and support national and regional health priorities and leadership to improve public health. (health)

2021-123: We note the continuing need to support health systems and health security and secure sustainable financing, together with partner countries' domestic resources, to help accelerate global vaccine development and deployment (health)

2021-124: [We note the continuing need to support health systems and health security and secure sustainable financing, together with partner countries' domestic resources, to help]… recover and then sustain access to essential health and nutrition services and health commodities, including in humanitarian settings and for sexual and reproductive health and rights (health)

2021-125: [We note the continuing need to support health systems and health security and secure sustainable financing, together with partner countries' domestic resources, to help]… to bolster the global health architecture for pandemic preparedness, including through stronger rapid response mechanisms. (health)

Gender equality

2021-126: We are committed to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. (gender)

Educating girls

2021-127: We commit to rebuilding education systems that are better, fairer, and more resilient. (gender)

2021-128: We commit to two new global ambitious milestone objectives to accelerate the achievement of SDG4, and call upon the international community to also adopt and rally behind them: 40 million more girls in school by 2026 in low and lower middle-income countries; (gender)

2021-129: [We commit to two new global ambitious milestone objectives to accelerate the achievement of SDG4, and call upon the international community to also adopt and rally behind them:] 20 million more girls reading by age 10 or the end of primary school in low and lower middle-income countries, by 2026. (gender)

2021-130: We endorse the approach to meet these objectives as outlined in the Girls' Education Declaration annex to the G7 Foreign and Development Communiqué. (gender)

2021-131: We commit to mobilise financial and technical resources, including through the Global Partnership for Education, and to work with national governments to protect domestic spending on education. (gender)

Empowering women

2021-132: We affirm our commitment to SDG 5.5, and call for the full, equal, active and meaningful participation and leadership of women and women's rights organisations at local, national, and international decision-making in the COVID-19 recovery. This includes meaningful participation and leadership in COVID-19 taskforces, the development, delivery and review of gender-responsive recovery action plans and initiatives, climate action and initiatives, and humanitarian response and crisis management. (gender)

2021-133: The G7 reaffirms our full commitment to the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all individuals. (gender)

2021-134: We commit to working together to prevent and address the severe impacts on SRHR from the pandemic. (gender)

2021-135: We commit to intensify our efforts, including by working with other countries and civil society, to accelerate progress towards the universal enjoyment of SRHR, with specific attention to the most marginalised and inadequately-served groups, including adolescents, those belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups, and LGBTQI+ individuals. (gender)

2021-136: We recognised that we must act specifically to support women as they recover from the damaging economic impact of COVID-19. (gender)

Ending violence against women and girls

2021-137: We commit to preventing, eliminating, and responding to GBV through scaling-up support and implementation of evidence-based, survivor- and victim-centred policies and programmes. (gender)

2021-138: We reaffirm the Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action (gender)

2021-139: as partners of the Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies, [we] commit to work together to strengthen the response to GBV in conflict, humanitarian and other development contexts, including preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence. (gender)

Famine prevention, humanitarian crises and food insecurity

2021-140: We endorse the work of the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Panel and the Compact which aim to prevent famine in 2021 and begin to stem the growth of humanitarian need. (human rights)

2021-141: We commit to: provide assistance, and seek to broaden and diversify the donor base, including from the private sector and foundation resources, required to address the critical funding challenges to prevent famine; (human rights)

2021-142: [We commit to: provide assistance, and seek to broaden and diversify the donor base, including from the private sector and foundation resources, required to address the critical funding challenges to]…promote humanitarian access and protect civilians; (human rights)

2021-143: [We commit to: provide assistance, and seek to broaden and diversify the donor base, including from the private sector and foundation resources, required to address the critical funding challenges to]…scale-up anticipatory action to prevent crises deteriorating further; (human rights)

2021-144: [We commit to: provide assistance, and seek to broaden and diversify the donor base, including from the private sector and foundation resources, required to address the critical funding challenges to]…partner with the World Bank Group to strengthen crisis preparedness and response through countries' own national systems; (human rights)

2021-145: [We commit to: provide assistance, and seek to broaden and diversify the donor base, including from the private sector and foundation resources, required to address the critical funding challenges to]…support the co-ordinated data gathering and analysis required to get aid to those who need it most when they need it. (human rights)

2021-146: Recognising that chronic hunger is also rising, we reaffirm our commitment to the Broad Food Security and Nutrition Development Approach agreed by the G7 in Elmau (Germany) in 2015. (human rights)

2021-147: We reaffirm our commitment to the work of the Food Security Working Group (human rights)

Climate change adaptation and resilience

2021-148: We commit to continue scaling up finance contributing to adaptation action, taking into account the priorities and needs identified by ambitious adaptation plans at local, national and sub-national levels, and adaptation communications. (climate change)

2021-149: We reaffirm our commitment to the collective developed-country goal of jointly mobilising US$100 billion annually through to 2025 and reaffirm our aim, in line with the Paris Agreement, that the provision of scaled-up financial resources should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation, taking into account country-driven strategies. (climate change)

2021-150: We commit to increase the effectiveness and accessibility of our climate finance, including nature-based solutions. This finance will strive to advance gender equality and inclusion and reflect the needs and voices of marginalised groups, indigenous peoples and women and girls. (climate change)

2021-151: We emphasise the need for greater public-private collaboration to achieve enhanced private finance mobilisation and domestic market creation for adaptation and resilience solutions and further efforts to incentivise increased private sector commitments. (climate change)

2021-152: We [are pleased G7 participants of the Collaborative have put forward practical plans to collectively pursue mainstreaming and substantially increasing investment into adaptation and resilience, and] will develop specific detailed actions on managing climate risk before COP 26, with an initial focus on agriculture. (climate change)

2021-153: We will aim to improve the impact of this funding by establishing best practice principles by COP 26 in co-ordination with the InsuResilience Global Partnership. (climate change)

2021-154: We support early action, climate and disaster risk finance and insurance on climate-linked disasters initiatives such as the InsuResilience Global Partnership and Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP). (climate change)

2021-155: We support the G7 ambition of covering 500 million poor and vulnerable people by 2025 through such solutions, in line with the InsuResilience Global Partnership's Vision 2025 and contributing to REAP's target to make 1 billion people safer from disaster by 2025. (climate change)

2021-156: We affirm our commitment to building resilience to the water-related impacts of climate change (climate change)

2021-157: [We affirm our commitment to]…mobilising the global agriculture research system to help the world recover from COVID-19 and addressing the climate change impacts on and of food systems. (food and agriculture)

2021-158: We commit to leveraging the power of national and multilateral research institutions, such as the One CGIAR (formerly Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), and the public and private sectors. (food and agriculture)

Development finance

2021-159: In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, we will take concrete action to address priority development finance challenges (development)

2021-160: We also recognise [the far-reaching impact of the pandemic on Africa,] the need to enable equitable access to vaccines, and to support African plans for VTD production, while supporting the development of resilient health systems. (health)

2021-161: We will encourage African governments to set the optimal conditions to increase trade, attract investment and create sustainable and decent jobs. (development)

Conclusion

2021-162: We commit to working together, with partner countries and within the multilateral system, to shape a cleaner, freer, fairer and more secure future for the planet. (international cooperation)

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