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42nd G-7 Summit
May 31, 2016

The 42nd G-7 summit was held at Ise-Shima, Japan on 26-27 May. The participating countries included the head of states of the USA, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy alongside the European Commission (represented by the President of the European Council and the President of European Commission) who has been a permanent participant in in all meetings and decision-making since 1981.

  • The top leaders of the world tackled a list of issues of global proportions with the concerns over the health of the global economy topping the agenda.

  • Europe’s refugee crisis was featured prominently at the meeting. 

  • European Council President Donald Tusk asked for more global aid for refugees.

  • Terrorism, cyber security and maritime security were also on the agenda and discussed in details.

  • The leaders later attended three sessions of meetings and discussed issues related to trade and government policies.

  • G-7 leaders voiced the view that emerging economies are in a severe situation, although there were views that the current economic situation is not a crisis.

  • In the summit China’s assertiveness in the East and South China Seas was also discussed.

  • Leaders of the G-7 agreed on the necessity of sending a strong message to China over its aggressive land reclamation and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

China responded to the remarks, arguing that the situation in the South China Sea had nothing to do with the G-7. China is resolutely opposed to individual countries hyping up the South China Sea for personal gain. It is worth mentioning here that Vietnam, China, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines have all staked competing claims in the South China Sea.

  • More than $5 trillion worth of trade passes through its resource-rich waters every year.

What is G-7?

The Group of Seven (G-7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies—the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom—that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.

  • It started at Rambouillet in 1975 at the initiative of French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

  • France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States formed the Group of Six in 1975 (Canada joined the following year).

  • At its beginnings, the G-7 was an informal gathering of heads of state and governments of the world's most advanced economies (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States). 

  • Since 2005, the G-7 has been holding dialogues with the major emerging economies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

  • The G-7 deals with such issues as: global economic outlook and macroeconomic management, international trade, energy, climate change, and relations with developing countries.

  • Russia belonged to the forum from 1998 through 2014—then the G8-but was suspended after its annexation of Crimea in March of that year.


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