The G7 Foreign Ministers convened in Lucca, Italy, on Monday and Tuesday (April 10 and 11). Around six weeks before the G7 Summit, they discussed displacement and migration, counter-terrorism and sustainable development. A special session on Syria also took place on the fringes of the meeting.
Topics of discussion included current crises and conflicts in international politics. One focus was on displacement and migration. The G7 countries intend to work together more closely on this, especially regarding efforts to combat the causes of refugee movements.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated upon the conclusion of talks on Syria specifically, "None of the G7 countries want military escalation, but rather a political settlement without a further spiral of violence." He continued to state the need for Russian support in the political process for a peaceful solution to the Syria conflict, an opinion shared by the United State's Secretary of State Tillerson.
The main topic of discussion was long-term development and stabilisation, however. Together, the G7 account for 10.5 percent of the world’s population and generate 44 percent of the global gross national income. As leading industrial nations, they bear a particular responsibility for crisis prevention and sustainable development.
One focus in this regard, also within the context of the German G20 Presidency, is Africa. Europe’s neighbouring continent is grappling with conflicts and famines while the impact of climate change is making itself felt and there are considerable movements of refugees and migrants. The G7 is seeking to de‑escalate the situation with long-term concepts for prevention and stabilisation.
G7 instead of G8: keeping the channels of communication open
G7 Summits have taken place since 1975. The Group was expanded to become the G8 with the addition of Russia in 1998 and met in this format until March 2014. As a result of the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation, the heads of state and government of the other seven members decided at the time to meet the reduced G7 format until further notice.
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