Written by Marc Jütten. and Leon Peijnenburg.
The 49th G7 Summit, bringing together the leaders of the United States (US), Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), took place on 19‑21 May 2023 under the Japanese Presidency in Hiroshima, a city with worldwide symbolic importance for war, nuclear devastation and peace. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine dominated the leaders’ summit once again, with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attending in person. The other main issue was the need to increase economic resilience and build a unified G7 approach towards China.
This year’s summit took place at a time where the multilateral rules-based global order is being challenged, in particular by Russia and China, and strategic relations around the world are being redefined. Key states from the Global South are becoming increasingly important for the West, in order to isolate Russia and address global challenges. For this reason, in addition to Zelenskyy, the Japanese Presidency invited a series of leaders, including those of the G20 troika – Indonesia, India and Brazil (India assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2022 from Indonesia, and will hand it over to Brazil in December this year).
The G7 leaders made strong commitments to global partners, in particular those in the Global South, in their various communiqués and statements. Some side meetings drew media attention, notably that between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The resulting leaders’ communiqué focused on support for Ukraine, disarmament and non-proliferation, economic security, clean tech economy, food security and the convergence of policy towards China. Many commentators drew an important parallel between the reiterated strong support for Ukraine and an underlying message that the international community would provide equal support were Taiwan to be in peril. In this regard, it is also interesting to note the timing of President Biden’s announcement at the G7 that the US would support a joint international effort to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.
Read the complete briefing on ‘2023 G7 Summit: Preparing for a new global order?‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament