|Pix Credit HERE|
Leadership is measured, in part, by the authority of a person or institution to drive change. Before 2016, it was clear that the United States continued to serve as the vanguard core of leadership (领导核心) for global trade regimes (with the Europeans playing a sort of superego role). That vanguard position permitted the United States to drive not just the mechanics of trade but its philosophy, principles, and objectives. The great evidence of that vanguard leadership, and the power of its guidance, was nicely evidenced by the U.S: development of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the final product of the extraordinary post 1945 project of making the world safe from war by integrating the economic lives of all states under principles that focused on diminishing difference and seeking global convergence. But even then factions within the U.S. were already undermining US leadership not merely through opposition to TPP, but also to the concept of global trade itself, from the right by a fear of attacks on sovereign independence, from the left for distrust of markets.
But even by 2016 US leadership--including its claims to normative leadership--on trade was being challenged from outside as well. The Europeans sought a more internationalist transformation of trade and its closer alignment with human right and sustainability generated through global collective efforts. Developing states sought a greater and more equitable place at the table especially with respect to the division of profit generated up the production chain. Most potently, China began to more muscularly assert a bid for the position of global trade vanguard by offering its own vision of a world trade order (functional and normative). That effort was sparked, in part, by a fundamental rejection of the core normative element of the post 1945 global order--the objective of convergence built around markets and private ordering informed (toward the end) by normative values reflected in international instruments.
That embrace has been accomplished in small steps over the last year or so. "B3W is actually the new form of two previous initiatives led by the American government, the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) and the Blue Dot initiative." (B3W vs China: why is India so jumpy?), but its full adoption was at last announced with great fanfare during the July 2021 meeting of the G7 when the Biden Administration announced the liberal democratic camp's own Belt and Road Initiative (lite)--the “Building Back Better” (B3W) project.
President Biden and G7 partners agreed to launch the bold new global infrastructure initiative Build Back Better World (B3W), a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership led by major democracies to help narrow the $40+ trillion infrastructure need in the developing world, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through B3W, the G7 and other like-minded partners will coordinate in mobilizing private-sector capital in four areas of focus—climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality—with catalytic investments from our respective development finance institutions.
B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific. Different G7 partners will have different geographic orientations, but the sum of the initiative will cover low- and middle-income countries across the world.
In announcing this partnership, the United States and its G7 partners are expressing a unified vision for global infrastructure development. As a lead partner in B3W, the United States will seek to mobilize the full potential of our development finance tools, including the Development Finance Corporation, USAID, EXIM, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and complementary bodies such as the Transaction Advisory Fund. In doing so, the Biden Administration aims to complement domestic infrastructure investments in the American Jobs Plan and create new opportunities to demonstrate U.S. competitiveness abroad and create jobs at home. (FACT SHEET: President Biden and G7 Leaders Launch Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership).
But the reversal is clear. It is China that now appears to provide the trade template; and it is the US that appears to seek to bend it to its own normative tastes. In the process, the leading role of the US, one that it has enjoyed since 1945 (however much contested from time to time) is probably as threatened as is the status of the US as a major and driving trade force. The Build Back Better Initiative is essentially both reactive and reactionary. It seeks to catch up and to rebuild back to past glories that will never be recaptured. It presupposes that the US can travel back in time to recapture a moment that has come and gone and to take advantage of a strategic opportunity squandered as little people played politics around presidential elections and sought to satisfy leadership egos. That is impossible. Yet it is still possible to leap forward; even within the structures of the still horribly labelled B3W. But that may require more than the statements that together form B3W.
|Pix Credit: Silk Road Briefing|
The Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communiqué (set out below) is built on these moral principles applied to the current challenges. What is extraordinary, though is the way that is discursive style now mirrors that coming from the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party. Convergence of sorts is still on the table, but discursively, at eats, for the moment its style appears to be that of a Leninist vanguard collective (For comparison also set out below is a synopsis of Xi Jinping's speech delivered for the APEC meeting 16 July 2021). The result points to both the cultivation of difference and the convergence of style. It points to the end of the great striving toward a unitary system of shared values and the beginning of robust moral-economic systems that stress their internal unity and their external difference from others. It points, at last, to systems of barriers and of open spaces--barriers between economic-moral systems whose interaction will be heavily controlled; and open spaces within those systems where the convergence of its members is understood as a high ideal and a robust objective. These are systems quite solid in their cores and quite fluid at their peripheries. They are systems in which second and third order dependencies acquire a measure of autonomy but at the political level but as a consequence of which their states are divided internally by chains of production controlled by one or the other imperial center. These, then, are systems, in which territorial maps of the political have little relevance to the mapping of the territories of economic control on the basis of which the post global imperial order is based.
These were among several questions that were posed to me during the course of a recent interview, the responses to which follow below.
Interview Questions and Answers
Payman Yazdani and Larry Catá Backer
15 July 2021
1-China has achieved great economic development without following the model that liberalism offers. As a major rival for the West liberal democracy models, it seems that the US is trying to drag China into some geopolitical tensions like in Taiwan, Afghanistan and the Middle East in order to hamper Beijing’s ambitions. What do you think of this?
This is a very interesting and subtle question; but it is a question without a clear cut answer. The ambiguity--an ambiguity that tends to produce exasperation among those actors seeking clarity--is produced by the increasingly incompatible ways in which the vanguards in the United States and in China see the world. Those differences, then, and their advantages to the political and economic projects of both rising imperial systems, are then tested at the borderlands of these empires and within first, second and third order dependencies of the new post global and post territorial imperial models. Put simply, both the United States and China have now become heavily invested in the construction of hub and spoke systems for the management of economic production that serves the center but provides benefits as well to along its spokes. The framework of this model blends echoes of ancient tributary systems along with the homogenizing mechanisms of technology fueled consumption. The framework requires the replication of core-collective relationships along vertically arranged systems of authority and influence the responsibilities and obligations of which are cemented by dependency. This effectively transforms the production or supply chain from a purely economic set of dependency relationships founded on contract or ownership principles to a collection of political, economic, and social-cultural relationships which tie the downstream (dependent) collectives to the upstream leadership cores. This building project is being undertaken outside of and with only a loose reference to the mass political discourse that is created for consumption by those who are the objects of these ambitions but who have a very limited role to play in its organization or operation beyond the ceremonials of participation in the respective core political practices of these distinct systems--elections in liberal democratic systems and participatory democratic engagement guided by the vanguard in Marxist Leninist systems.
The “new era” which is reflected in this move toward the reconstitution of empire in new forms. These re-constituted imperial models, built without the unnecessary and now distracting characteristics of its ancient forms or more recently its organization along easily policed boundaries (race, religion, territorial control, and the like decisively rejected almost universally since 1945), share a common objective of sharpening and distilling difference. That is, the move after 1945 focused on the construction of political-economic models that had as a core objective the diminution of difference and the drive toward systemic convergence at every level of human organization. The object, effectively, was to de-nature difference so that they could be reduced to no more than gestures and affectations without real consequence, the apotheosis of which in the post 1945 era was nicely framed by the adoption of the official motto of the European Union-- In varietate concordia (“toward unity in diversity”--with overtones of harmony and difference and a progression toward this ideal). That movement remains the official high ideal of political collectives. And yet especially since 2016 it has become almost unavoidable to recognize that the move toward the de-naturing of difference has been reversed in one critical respect: the contest for the authority to impose meaning on difference from out of which harmony may be possible, and to identify those differences that strike at the heart of the project of amalgamating differences within a harmonious collective. That sharpening of meaning construction (ideological premises and ways of understanding and responding to the world) and the recognition that with respect to some difference-diversity there can be no convergence, compromise, or de-naturing. One sees this in the tensions in Hong Kong. There the effect of the protests produced a sharpening of the differences between patriotic individuals and others who must be excised from the collective until they can be rectified. One sees it as well in the great cultural revolutions in the United States undertaken under the banners of social justice, equality and the like which includes as a core proposition the necessity of identifying and excising those national elements (and their way of understanding he world and society) that is reconstituted as a threat to the desired political-social order.
The somewhat long and complicated introduction is necessary in order to understand the character of the conflicts at the heart of the question in a way that may be more useful that that usually offered for consumption for the masses (and necessarily so to ensure appropriate socialization within each of these chains of power and dependency). This is by no means meant as a judgment or criticism of these trajectories of potentially revolutionary changes--rather it undertaken strictly as a necessary step for clarity in evaluating the expressions of these broader and critical movements as they manifest themselves along the peripheries of first order power. Of course this view is iconoclastic; the great majority of intellectual collectives continue to adhere to traditional theories--they have a lot invested in the past and can see the future only as and to the extent it can be made to fit into their assumptions of the way the world ought to be. Yet that is hardly a useful means of analysis. On the other hand it does serve a valuable purpose in maintaining appropriate attitudes and conditions of meaning for those who are managed within these systems.
And so the short answer to the question: under contemporary conditions it is fundamentally important for the amalgamation of ideology, power and production that are constituted as China and the United States to hamper each other’s ambitions. That hampering is undertaken to evidence the superiority of the ideological system of the victory in this battles on the peripheries of empire. They also realign the borders of those empires. Moreover, they provide the information necessary for each to quantify (in terms of prosperity, order and the benefits of values to collective well-being as defined and measured by each) both the differences between them and to sell the superiority of each to their respective collectives. Lastly they serve as a means of developing the operating or working styles of each imperial model and to monitor and discipline their respective dependencies ordered in terms of their alignments and values to the imperial cores.
That, at last, is what one is confronted with when one considers the tensions that explode on the borderlands of the emerging empires. Those tensions can implicate the imperial core directly (especially when claimed core territories appear to be in play--Taiwan and Hong Kong. Or they can also be manifested in the way in which first or second order dependencies may be managed, lost or won. In those cases the conflict appears to be driven by the sub-imperial objectives of powerful dependencies (traditionally regional powers in the old language of international politics), but which ultimately are framed carefully to align with the objectives and desires of the imperial core. Afghanistan provides a case in point. On the one hand one can view it as an American defeat and a great victory for China--if that victory is understood as empowering the Chinese economic apparatus to complete its focus on encircling India (an affiliated regional power aligned with the United States or perhaps better said against China) and building its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure grid to connect China to the ports of Pakistan. In this reading, the American abandonment of Afghanistan also significantly detaches the United States from Pakistan, and creates in both a second and third order dependency relationship with China. But at the same time, this shifting of borders might advantage the United States as well in the sense of strengthening its own product chains now through India and Southeast Asia and resetting the relationships in ways to restore the United States to a position of control but control actualized through others.
The Middle East presents a more complicated scenario for both China and the United States. Here the risks for both are greater because the regional powers can act with a greater measure of autonomy--enough autonomy to sometimes force the hand of the superior (but far away) power centers. In this context the ambitions of both Beijing and Washington will likely be hampered by the criss-crossing and constantly rebalanced calculations of the major players in the region, spiced by the interests of second order imperial systems--in this case the Russians and the Europeans. But again, rethinking strategies from the framework of imperial hub-and-spoke models, driven by control of production (first) and markets (second), and sold by the measurable benefits of the application of competing ideologies, access rather than control might become the key variable. With that there may be a greater tolerance for inter-regional contests (as long as they do not threaten production chains). The last wrinkle can be sorted out indirectly through an ancient method once developed exquisitely by the Romans (and to some extent by the Ottomans but on a smaller scale) and the Chinese imperial apparatus--the taking of hostages from the leading clans of regional powers (first order dependencies) as well as the direction of investment into the imperial centers (e.g., Middle East investment in Europe and the US). In that case individuals can be socialized during their residency and national investment imposes a huge costs on separation.
2- The recent G7 summit allocated billions of dollars to challenge China’s One Road One Belt project. Will western countries be able to contain China?
This is an excellent question especially as it highlights another key development since 2013--the convergence of the operating style of the two key power players on the world stage today. The “containment” game actually started in its modern form after the great financial crisis of 2007. At the time, though, the idea wasn’t containment. What became containment strategies were initially constructed in the service of the post 1945 vision of reducing difference and forging convergence through compromise, but all with fidelity to the great core values of the post 1945 system--separation of pubic (regulatory) and private (commercial and markets driven) activities; a level playing field for market participants; markets driving economic activity; and an ILO approach to labor-capital issues, among the more important. It was convergence that drove the Obama administration to ramp up US participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and to engage in a series of secret but not really very secret meetings the purpose of which was to draw China into the arrangement. The carrot was greater access to a huge market and a deeper embedding with global trajectories; the stick was exclusion from this zone and the likelihood that the normative principles that drove it would not include principles and compromises important to China (especially with respect to Chinese approaches to economic planning, the role of the state in private activity. China chose difference over unity (or from their perspective, the US chose to use TPP as a back door to challenging core Marxist-Leninist principles of state-economic relationships that could not be given up without compromising the legitimacy of that system). So what started out as a means of bringing powers closer together actually and eventually contributed to the sharpening of difference.
It was in part to meet the threat that exclusion from TPP posed that the Chinese central authorities developed the Belt & Road Initiative in the way they did. Exclusion produced the rhetoric of containment--a rhetoric that was historically appealing and had substantial “selling power” among the potential market for Chinese economic ambitions among developing states with their own tangled histories with the West. Of course, there is much there that constitutes merely the globalization of the great Chinese project of Reform and Opening Up. I use the word “merely” not to dimmish the great leap that loved internal working styles developing China outward. The genius of the concept permitted the Chinese central authorities to align internal development of Marxism-Leninism centered on Chinese development with its expression as a means of aligning Chinese with foreign development under the guidance and leadership of the Chinese vanguard. Again here BRI replicated the core-collective organizational foundation of emerging Chinese Leninism with both an implementation strategy that put China at the center and that permitted that center to align internal and external development in a seamless way. It was thus appealing to developing states as a political, economic, and societal model even as it served to project outward Chinese economic objectives in ways that aligned with their political-economic model and could in that form challenge what was viewed as the counterthrust represented by TPP and to create a barrier to the projection of Liberal democratic principles into China. At the same time it also provided an extraordinary opportunity to mimic liberal democratic markets driven internationalism with a new and potentially more appealing to developing states communist internationalism The temptations, given the threats (and the sense among Chinese elites that China would eventually eclipse the US in terms of economic power (and perhaps mora authority) were irresistible. And the opportunities to merely internationalize Chinese internal practices outbound made the project that much easier.
And here, irony. China’s BRI changed the rules of the game precisely because China viewed TPP as a threat to the development of its own autonomous path to prosperity and stability grounded in the imperatives of Marxist Leninist principles and objectives. It represents the first real effective effort to contain liberal democratic globalist internationalism and the great post 1945 project of alignment under the unity or harmony in diversity mandate through which all difference would be minimized within the great organizational principles of markets driven internationalism founded on the normative construct of UN internationalism. Thus, from a longer term perspective the Chinese BRI represents the first of the post-global’s strategies of (1) containment; and (2) supplanting. The supplanting element was made clear early on as well-- China offered its BRI approach as a direct global internationalist alternative to that in place since 1945 and driven by the great liberal democratic powers. Further, in this light, one can measure the success of this effort in two ways. The first measure is as a function of the collapse of the supremacy of the principle of alignment and convergence at the ideological heart of the post 1945 system, ne that was framed and legitimated by the triumph of the liberal democratic camp against the last of the old fashioned empires--that of the Soviet Union and antique Marxist-Leninism in the late 1980s. The second measure is as a function of the reaction of the liberal democratic states to the sudden and quite aggressive rise of the BRI system--a rise powerful enough (like the Mongol invasions of the 13th century) to reach into the heart of Europe itself.
Using that approach as a conceptual lenses, the question then becomes not whether the liberal democratic camp can contain China, but whether the West’s efforts to mimic what is the Chinese post-global vision for a system of competing imperial orders each managing its complex webs of dependencies and fighting along the edges of their borders in the form of the G7 declaration of a liberal Democratic version of the BRI, can effectively avoid the containment of the liberal democratic camp by China. The reactionary element of the liberal democratic project is contained even in its name--the “Building Back Better” (B3W) project, but in effect the project aims to abandon the fundamental ordering principles of the great post 1945 globalist internationalist project.
And, of course, the still greater irony, what the liberal democratic order is effectively copying is a version of China’s copying of the TPP--which had been abandoned by the United States in 2017. For this the United States has only itself to blame--from the phlegmatic response of the late Obama administration (miscalculating because of its presumption of a victory by Mrs. Clinton who would have been tasked with dealing with TPP and the misguided opposition to its vision by left and right edges of the influence driving elites); the visceral opposition by Mr. Trump who saw in this a low cost gesture which he could use to feed his followers; and the absolute blindness of the American political class and their intellectual servants who were so caught up in themselves and their own vision of thing that they failed almost entirely t appreciate what was going on outside of their self-absorbed and limited frames of reference. Now of course the nation pays the price. Yet in that is also a lesson for the Chinese central authorities as well as the leading groups of global regional powers.
And that leads to, and makes possible, very short answers to the question posed: (1) Neither China nor the United States will be able to contain the other (2) the object of all this maneuvering is centered on the extension and control of production chains to advance the interests of the central authority (Washing and Beijing--and to a lesser extent the EU, though even China understands the EU’s odd but not quite primary position in the new imperial ordering of global production and with it of global affairs); (3) it was inevitable that the liberal democratic camp, under the guidance and leadership of the United States, would have to conform itself to the new realities, effectively abandon a core policy grounded in the convergence of difference to one in which the heart of strategic competition requires the sharpening of differences at the border of ideological and production empires; (4) the billions that will be spent must be spent, starting with an infrastructure improvement project in the American metropolis (again an irony the Biden Administration actually seeing implemented the infrastructure plan first floated by the Trump Administration and rejected by Democrats before 2020); (5) infrastructure will have strategic implications well beyond reducing the costs of trade and production by providing a physical manifestation of production chain connection, by creating distinct techno-corridors that will be difficult to abandon making moving from BRI to its American version harder, by ensuring the robust protection of resource and production corridors, and by ensuring an alignment between the projection of military and economic power. The left wing of the United States used to mock its government for that alignment when it was reduced to support for certain states in the Middle East; they whistle a different tune when it is to the provision of their creature comforts and the expansion of their investment portfolios that this projection protects; and (6) development of robust B3Wprinciples and practices (TPP 2.0, will provide a necessary apparatus through which trade between empires can be properly managed--the resulting regime from this policy of mutual containment, then posits free trade within the imperial production corridors, and strictly managed trade between the two blocs. .
3-How do you assess the recent developments in Afghanistan that may also spill over to Central Asia in hindering China’s economic development?
The religious issue will at some point have to be confronted. But it is likely that many states will take the longer view on that question. The reason is simple and straightforward--there is little space for maneuvering when one is in either a state of dependence or of weakness relative to another. China is calling the shots here, and in the process is also reinventing a legitimating framework for managing minority peoples, practices, beliefs, and the like. This is a quite different version of unity from diversity recalling an earlier time. But it also reflects the trajectories of the time, discussed in response to an earlier question in which it was posited that is this an age in which difference is sharpened and beyond a tolerable point, difference is viewed as a threat to the social and political order and on that basis suppressed. That same principle has been applied in the context of Hong Kong; it has been applied within the context of defining the limits of legitimate political expression in the US (the exclusion of former President Trump from social media outlets is a case in point that ought not to be minimized in its importance in that regard and it is now applied to issues of religion.
The reason I start my answer with that point is that China will play a critical role in the development of the situation in Afghanistan in particular and in central Asia in general. But here there are complications--Russia and Iran also have strategic and ancient spheres of influence and prerogatives in the region--especially where the modern names of the regions are stripped away to reveal the ethno-territories that have been parts of both ancient empires off and on for many centuries. Moreover, the instability in that country will produce ethno-migrations to bordering states that itself may add to instability.
And yet Afghanistan remains a third order dependency, at best. As mentioned as part of the answer to an earlier question, China will likely work through Pakistan rather than directly in in Afghanistan. And it is just as well. The Afghanistan government in waiting, the merging of the religious establishment of the Taliban with the apparatus of state, has very little love for China and Chinese policy. And in any case, as with the US and Europeans once there, can view the Chinese either as rich foreigners worthy of kidnap and ransom or invaders who may be killed with impunity.
All of this is speculation of course, yet Afghanistan has never disappointed in its strong adherence to traditions of dealing with foreigners. The most interesting potential consequences will revolve around the use by the new government of Chinese infrastructure as a hostage form which to exact payment (reverse tribute for good behavior); the willingness of the Afghanistan government to allow itself to be used as a proxy for Kazakhstan in penetrating the Xinjiang region for the purpose of subverting the policies of the central authorities, and the irritation with which neighboring states and the retreating liberal democratic states will view the continuous production of opium and related goods as (now recharacterized) acts of markets based terrorism for the purpose of destabilization. More exquisite and provocative would be the willingness of the regime to support penetration of these markets into China itself.
Beyond that, the Americans never had the will or the creativity, to use Afghanistan to greater effect. The issue of mission chaos (the leadership never really settling on a purpose to the American presence other than as punishment and regime change and then as guardians of halfhearted efforts to change the fundamental culture of a fundamentalist society). That is the great lesson for the US--again. And in any case Iraq became a disastrous distraction early in the engagement with Afghanistan. China, in its own way, will face the same dilemma. But unlike the United States, that has very little to lose by cutting ties, China now has a great deal to lose especially in the construction and maintenance of the physical manifestation of its hub and spoke model of economic management of its global production and consumption chains. From the American perspective the result is a cost effective means of hobbling BRI and indirectly punishing both Afghanistan and Pakistan for their less than enthusiastic loyalty. In that case, the cultivation of instability and the directed sharpening of difference can undermine the stability essential to the smooth operation of this part of the Chinese silk road. To the extent that China responds militarily, it will assume the same risks and incur the costs already well documented in earlier similar scenarios.
4-Do the US and its allies enjoy enough tools and potentials to contain Beijing? Will China finally succeed in determining the world trade order?Much of what has been said before can be applied to answer this question. The simplest answer is direct: (1) The liberal democratic order under the leadership of the United States still has more than enough tools to prevent China from substituting its own word trade order for that of the liberal democratic camp; (2) but in the effort to prevent such a reversal of global authority, two things occur that perversely enough help reshape the world trade order itself, the first is that the principle object is to sharpen difference rather than promote convergence across difference, and the second is that in the absence of a singular vision for a world trading order, global trade will be unified only by and as a series of rules under which trade may pass from one universalist (and closed ) system to another. That is the future the contours of which we are already seeing. The evidence is plain: First the efforts to ensure that data and information is confined within the borders of the state from which it is sourced. Second, the increasing use of waivers from fere trade on grounds of nationals security and national interest Third, the heightened wariness of espionage. Fourth the development of institutional countermeasures to the use of economic power and markets and a site for non-violent warfare between competing camps.
We, the leaders of the Group of Seven, met in Cornwall on 11-13 June 2021 determined to beat COVID-19 and build back better. We remembered everyone who has been lost to the pandemic and paid tribute to those still striving to overcome it. Inspired by their example of collaboration and determination, we gathered united by the principle that brought us together originally, that shared beliefs and shared responsibilities are the bedrock of leadership and prosperity. Guided by this, our enduring ideals as free open societies and democracies, and by our commitment to multilateralism, we have agreed a shared G7 agenda for global action to:
- End the pandemic and prepare for the future by driving an intensified international effort, starting immediately, to vaccinate the world by getting as many safe vaccines to as many people as possible as fast as possible. Total G7 commitments since the start of the pandemic provide for a total of over two billion vaccine doses, with the commitments since we last met in February 2021, including here in Carbis Bay, providing for one billion doses over the next year. At the same time we will create the appropriate frameworks to strengthen our collective defences against threats to global health by: increasing and coordinating on global manufacturing capacity on all continents; improving early warning systems; and support science in a mission to shorten the cycle for the development of safe and effective vaccines, treatments and tests from 300 to 100 days.
- Reinvigorate our economies by advancing recovery plans that build on the $12 trillion of support we have put in place during the pandemic. We will continue to support our economies for as long as is necessary, shifting the focus of our support from crisis response to promoting growth into the future, with plans that create jobs, invest in infrastructure, drive innovation, support people, and level up so that no place or person, irrespective of age, ethnicity or gender is left behind. This has not been the case with past global crises, and we are determined that this time it will be different.
- Secure our future prosperity by championing freer, fairer trade within a reformed trading system, a more resilient global economy, and a fairer global tax system that reverses the race to the bottom. We will collaborate to ensure future frontiers of the global economy and society, from cyber space to outer space, increase the prosperity and wellbeing of all people while upholding our values as open societies. We are convinced of the potential of technological transformation for the common good in accordance with our shared values.
- Protect our planet by supporting a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. We commit to net zero no later than 2050, halving our collective emissions over the two decades to 2030, increasing and improving climate finance to 2025; and to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of our land and oceans by 2030. We acknowledge our duty to safeguard the planet for future generations.
- Strengthen our partnerships with others around the world. We will develop a new partnership to build back better for the world, through a step change in our approach to investment for infrastructure, including through an initiative for clean and green growth. We are resolved to deepen our current partnership to a new deal with Africa, including by magnifying support from the International Monetary Fund for countries most in need to support our aim to reach a total global ambition of $100 billion.
- Embrace our values as an enduring foundation for success in an ever changing world. We will harness the power of democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights to answer the biggest questions and overcome the greatest challenges. We will do this in a way that values the individual and promotes equality, especially gender equality, including by supporting a target to get 40 million more girls into education and with at least $2¾ billion for the Global Partnership for Education.
We shall seek to advance this open agenda in collaboration with other countries and within the multilateral rules-based system. In particular, we look forward to working alongside our G20 partners and with all relevant International Organisations to secure a cleaner, greener, freer, fairer and safer future for our people and planet.
1. We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven, met together in Cornwall, United Kingdom on 11-13 June 2021 at a critical juncture for our people and planet.
2. We acknowledge the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in our own societies and around the world, and that those impacts have not been felt evenly. We remember all those who have died as a result of the pandemic and pay tribute to all those continuing to work to overcome the virus.
3. United as open societies and economies and guided by our shared values of democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, we commit to beating COVID-19 everywhere and building back better for all. We are firmly convinced that these values remain the best foundation for the social and economic advancement of all humanity. We affirm that by investing in our people, tackling inequalities, including gender inequality, promoting dignity and championing freedoms, we will release innovation capable of tackling the great challenges of our time.
4. Our agenda for global action is built on our commitment to international cooperation, multilateralism and an open, resilient, rules-based world order. As democratic societies we support global institutions in their efforts to protect human rights, respect the rule of law, advance gender equality, manage tensions between states, address conflict, instability and climate change, and share prosperity through trade and investment. That open and resilient international order is in turn the best guarantor of security and prosperity for our own citizens.
5. We were joined in Cornwall by the Leaders of Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, with whom we have agreed a shared statement on the value and role of open societies. We will continue to work together with these and all our partners in tackling global challenges. We reaffirm our commitment to multilateralism and to working with the G20, UN and wider multilateral system to deliver a strong, sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery.
6. Our immediate focus is beating COVID-19 and we set a collective goal of ending the pandemic in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic is not under control anywhere until it is under control everywhere. In an interconnected world global health and health security threats respect no borders. We therefore commit both to strengthen global action now to fight COVID-19, and to take further tangible steps to improve our collective defences against future threats and to bolster global health and health security. This includes strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO) and supporting it in its leading and coordinating role in the global health system.
7. We recognise that the pandemic has left no one untouched, impacting not only physical health but also mental health and social wellbeing. We pay tribute to the extraordinary efforts of first responders, health workers, paid and unpaid care workers, scientists, and manufacturers who have developed and deployed COVID-19 medical tools at a pace few thought possible, opening up a path out of the pandemic. At the same time, we recognise that we have a long way to go to achieve global equitable access to these medical tools, and to manage the risks from new COVID-19 variants which have the potential to reverse our progress.
8. Recognising that ending the pandemic in 2022 will require vaccinating at least 60 per cent of the global population, we will intensify our action to save lives. Our international priority is to accelerate the rollout of safe and effective, accessible and affordable vaccines for the poorest countries, noting the role of extensive immunisation as a global public good. We reiterate our endorsement of the G20 Rome Declaration and the statement agreed by our Foreign and Development Ministers on equitable access. We will work together and with others, leveraging the full spectrum of the capability and capacity we can each deploy to support the global vaccination effort, through finance for and sharing of doses, science, ensuring accessibility through voluntary licensing, manufacturing and ensuring availability through exports, opening supply chains, and supporting final mile delivery.
9. We reaffirm our support for the ACT-A and its COVAX Facility as the primary route for providing vaccines to the poorest countries. Since the start of the pandemic, we have committed $8.6 billion to the vaccines pillar of ACT-A to finance the procurement of vaccines, including $1.9 billion since we last met in February. This provides for the equivalent of over one billion doses. We welcome the recent successful COVAX Summit co-hosted by Japan and Gavi which mobilised financing pledges exceeding the COVAX AMC target. Recognising the urgent need to speed up delivery of doses, we are committing to share at least 870 million doses directly over the next year. We will make these doses available as soon as possible and aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021 primarily channelled through COVAX towards those in greatest need. Taken together, the dose equivalent of our financial contributions and our direct dose sharing mean that the G7’s commitments since the start of the pandemic provide for a total of over two billion vaccine doses. The commitments since we last met in February 2021 including here in Carbis Bay provide for one billion doses over the next year. We will work together with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase this contribution over the months to come.
10. These commitments build on our wider contributions to the global vaccination effort. These include exports from domestic production, with at least 700 million doses exported or to be exported this year, of which almost half have gone or will go to non-G7 countries, with a commitment to continue exporting in significant proportions; and the promotion of voluntary licensing and not-for-profit global production, which has so far accounted for over 95 per cent of the COVAX supply.
11. We reaffirm our support for all pillars of the ACT-A across, treatments, tests and strengthening public health systems as well as vaccines. As the G7, since our meeting in February, we have committed over $2 billion in total to the ACT-Accelerator (including vaccines), taking our collective commitment since the start of the pandemic to over $10 billion. We support discussions regarding the extension of the ACT-A mandate into 2022, noting the planned comprehensive review to optimise its effectiveness and accountability. Efforts on this scale require close monitoring of progress made by ACT-A with reliable, transparent, up-to-date and clear information on procurement and delivery to both donor and recipient countries in close partnership with regional organisations. Progress should be reported to the G20 in Rome.
12. In support of achieving our goal, we commit to an end-to-end approach to boost supply of COVID-19 tools, including vaccines, raw materials, tests, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment (PPE), through more production in more places to sustain a global supply network for this pandemic and the next. This will be based on the principles of open trade and transparency, including through terminating unnecessary trade restrictive measures and supporting open, diversified, secure and resilient supply chains. It will be backed up by a practical and pragmatic approach to breaking down bottlenecks that are holding back the efficient use of current production capacity, as well as promoting partnerships to increase capacity further. To this end, we will support the ACT-A Facilitation Council Working Group together with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, UNICEF and other partners such as the Medicines Patent Pool and the private sector, to coordinate a global vaccine supply network to optimise manufacturing capacities for safe and effective vaccines and other pandemic tools, and to share information about supply chains. Emphasising the need for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, we will support manufacturing in low income countries and, noting the importance of intellectual property in this regard, we will engage constructively with discussions at the WTO on the role of intellectual property, including by working consistently within the TRIPS agreement and the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and Public Health. We note the positive impact that voluntary licensing and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms have already made to increasing global supply. We note the positive impact that voluntary licensing and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms have already made to increasing global supply. We will explore all options to ensure affordable and accessible COVID-19 tools for the poorest countries, including non-profit production, tiered and transparent pricing, and sharing by manufacturers of a proportion of production with COVAX, noting the previous precedent of the 10 per cent target in relation to influenza. We support efforts to accelerate manufacturing capacities of COVID-19 tools on all continents, encouraging new partnerships based on voluntary licensing and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms and in particular will strive to support African efforts to establish regional manufacturing hubs. We will continue to work with partners, regional organisations and recipient countries, including through COVAX, to boost country-readiness, and will maintain our efforts to support vaccine confidence.
13. To get and stay ahead of the virus, we commit to continue our investment in cutting edge research and innovation, seeking to ensure that global vaccines remain effective against variants of concern, and that effective tests and treatments are available. To this end, we will boost global surveillance and genomic sequencing and swift information sharing needed to enable the rapid detection to combat the virus and its emerging variants. G7 countries should extend every effort to achieve, wherever possible, a level of genomic sequencing of at least 10 per cent of all new positive COVID-19 samples during the pandemic phase and share genomic sequencing information with existing global databases.
14. Alongside the above, we will continue and enhance our commitments to support fragile countries in dealing with the pandemic and other health challenges. This includes supporting ACT-A partners such as The Global Fund and Unitaid which have played a crucial role in delivering lifesaving medical and other supplies, including oxygen, tests, therapeutics and PPE, and assisting countries together with WHO to strengthen their health systems, build capacity, manage outbreaks and prevent disease spread. We call on the World Bank Group and the other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to increase the speed of their financial support, and will continue to support ACT-A in this regard.
15. Alongside responding to the current pandemic, we must act now to strengthen the global health and health security system to be better prepared for future pandemics and to tackle long standing global health threats, including Antimicrobial Resistance. We welcome the Rome Declaration, the measures set out within the ‘Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies’ Resolution as adopted at the 74th World Health Assembly, acknowledge the bold recommendations of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), and the work of the International Health Regulations Review Committee (IHR Review Committee) and Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee (IOAC). We look forward to continuing to work with the G20, UN, WHO, WTO and other relevant international organisations, in accordance with their mandates and rules for decision making, to make progress in the swift implementation of recommendations, and to seek the necessary multilateral action, including exploring the potential value of a treaty. We look forward to the special session on pandemic preparedness in the Autumn, as agreed at the World Health Assembly.
16. As G7 countries, we acknowledge our particular role and responsibilities in international efforts to strengthen the global health system, and commit to harnessing our unique strengths to support this. We endorse the G7 Carbis Bay Health Declaration and the G7 Health Ministers’ Communique, and the concrete actions outlined to ensure all countries are better equipped to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from health crises including in alignment with the International Health Regulations (IHR). We place particular emphasis on:
- Improving integration, by strengthening a “One Health” approach across all aspects of pandemic prevention and preparedness, recognising the critical links between human and animal health and the environment.
- Strengthening transparency and accountability, including reiterating our commitment to the full implementation of, and improved compliance with, the International Health Regulations 2005. This includes investigating, reporting and responding to outbreaks of unknown origin. We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.
- Improving the speed of response by developing global protocols which trigger collective action in the event of a future pandemic.
- Ensuring fairness, inclusion and equity, including the empowerment and leadership of women and minorities in the health and care sectors, and addressing the links between health crises and wider social determinants of health such as poverty and structural inequalities, and leaving no one behind by advancing the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.
- Increasing the resilience of global health systems to deal with outbreaks of emerging and enduring pathogens, including by investing in the health and care workforce worldwide to build capacity and keep health care workers safe.
- Strengthening financing models to support longer-term preparedness, sustainable global health and health security, in particular but not limited to the WHO. We will explore options for building consensus this year, around sustainable global health and health security financing, supported by robust financial reporting, increased and defined accountability, and oversight. We ask our Finance Ministers to work with others, the G20 and its High Level Independent Panel (HLIP) to make progress in this regard. We will explore options to strengthen global accountability, tracking and allocation of global health security financing, including the IPPPR recommendation toward a Global Health Threats Council.
17. The G7 has a leading role to play in deploying our collective scientific capabilities as part of an enhanced global health response. Data can play a transformative role in supporting effective early warning and rapid response to health crises. We therefore need to improve the quality and coverage of international, regional and national pathogen surveillance to enable us to gather, share and analyse data to identify new variants in our fight against the current pandemic, and to detect and monitor future pathogens with pandemic potential. We support the establishment of the international pathogen surveillance network – a global pandemic radar – and welcome the WHO’s commitment to work with experts and countries to help achieve this, based on a common framework, including standards and rules for sharing data, that builds on existing detection systems such as the influenza and polio programmes but with greater capacity for genomic sequencing and broader in coverage. We note the report to the Presidency on pathogen surveillance by Sir Jeremy Farrar. To this end we welcome the WHO’s Global Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, as well as additional centres as part of this network. This will also need to be supported by capability building at the regional level, thereby increasing global sequencing and pathogen surveillance capacities across the world. We ask that the WHO reports back to Leaders on the progress of the network by the end of this year as part of the G20 process.
18. It is essential that we maintain and build upon the extraordinary innovation, scientific power, and collaboration that we have seen in the response to this pandemic, including the development of COVID-19 vaccines in just over 300 days. As G7 members we have a particular role to play in seeking to make safe and effective diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines even more quickly available in the future. Recognising the unpredictable nature of future health emergencies, in the event of a future pandemic we will seek to create an adequate framework to have safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics available within 100 days, consistent with our core principles around trade and transparency of equitable access, and high regulatory standards. We thank the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser and his G7 counterparts, the international organisations, industry representatives and expert advisers involved in the partnership on pandemic preparedness convened by the UK Presidency and note their practical proposals. We welcome the 100 Days Mission, and recognise that this will require continued, concerted collaboration between the public and private sectors, and the leadership of international health organisations, to make what has been exceptional during this crisis become routine in the future. We invite G7 Chief Scientific Advisers or equivalents to review progress and report to Leaders before the end of the year.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND JOBS
19. Our plans for the recovery from COVID-19 need to put us on a path to strong, sustainable, balanced, inclusive and resilient growth by not only addressing the immediate challenges arising from the pandemic, but also the long-term shifts in the global economy and society, including demographic, technological, and environmental trends, and inequalities between and within countries, many of which have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognising the interconnected nature of these global challenges, we are taking an integrated approach to our shared commitments.
20. To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, we have provided unprecedented support to citizens and businesses, including to retain jobs and support incomes and keep businesses afloat, totalling over $12 trillion including fiscal support and liquidity measures. We will continue to support our economies for as long as is necessary, shifting the focus of our support from crisis response to promoting strong, resilient, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth into the future. Once the recovery is firmly established, we need to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances to enable us to respond to future crises and address longer-term structural challenges, including for the benefit of future generations.
21. We share key priorities including protecting, supporting and creating decent jobs, and investing in quality infrastructure, innovation, training and skills and addressing inequalities. We will continue to exchange ideas and share best practices to ensure we learn from each other and update our approaches through different phases of the recovery. We thank Lord Nick Stern for his paper on “G7 leadership for sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic recovery and growth” as commissioned by the UK G7 Presidency. At the heart of our agenda for economic growth and recovery is a green and digital transformation that will increase productivity, create new decent and quality jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve our resilience, and protect people and the planet as we aim for net zero by 2050.
22. We need a tax system that is fair across the world. We endorse the historic commitment made by the G7 on 5 June. We will now continue the discussion to reach consensus on a global agreement on an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights and an ambitious global minimum tax of at least 15 per cent on a country-by-country basis, through the G20/OECD inclusive framework and look forward to reaching an agreement at the July meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. With this, we have taken a significant step towards creating a fairer tax system fit for the 21st century, and reversing a 40-year race to the bottom. Our collaboration will create a stronger
level playing field, and it will help raise more tax revenue to support investment and it will crack down on tax avoidance.
23. We recognise the importance to the global economy of safely restarting international travel, by land, air and sea, and multilateral efforts to achieve this, including new public health guidance on international travel by the WHO, International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation. We recognise that this will need a set of common standards for travel including interoperability and mutual recognition of digital applications, testing requirements, recognition of vaccination status including exemptions and comparable criteria for when responsive measures may be required. We welcome G7 Transport and Health Ministers’ ongoing discussions and ask them to deepen cooperation to support a safe reopening.
24. As leaders accountable to all our citizens, we are determined to ensure our plans for recovery build back better for all including by strengthening education and upskilling, and facilitating labour market participation and transitions to ‘level up’ our economies so that no geographic region or person, irrespective of their gender, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic status, is left behind. We recognise this has not always been the case with recoveries from previous global crises, and are together united in our resolve that this time our response should continue to be different.
25. While our support during the pandemic has helped to keep millions of people in employment, the crisis has meant that many have still lost their jobs, and the impact has not been felt equally, including with respect to young people, women and disadvantaged groups, as well as atypical and low-skilled workers. The crisis has also shown the importance of social protection systems and the critical role and incredible contribution of caregivers in our societies, often unpaid and often disproportionately women, and the importance of improving decent working conditions for these caregivers as part of our recovery plans. At the same time, technological change is profoundly changing our labour markets. We welcome the contributions of the G7 Employment Taskforce on building back better, greener and more inclusively, including their discussions with social partners and G7 Engagement Groups, including Labour 7, Youth 7, Women 7 and Business 7 covering how we can prepare our labour markets for the future. One of the highest priorities for our ongoing cooperation will be ensuring our labour markets continue to evolve to respond to these changes and deliver decent jobs and equal opportunities for everyone, while fully respecting the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and taking into account relevant international labour standards.
26. The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the risk to economic resilience posed by global crises and shocks. These can manifest from acute shocks, for example as a result of pandemics, and chronically, from challenges such as market imbalances and distortions. Our recoveries must ensure we build back more resilient. As we recover, these risks need addressing in a more coordinated way. We will collaborate more strongly between us and with allies on a new approach to economic resilience. We recognise climate change and growing inequalities as key risks for the global economy. We will consider mechanisms and share best practices to address risks to the resilience of the critical global supply chains, in areas such as critical minerals and semiconductors, reflecting on models used elsewhere such as stress-testing. We will also enhance our cooperation on investment security within our G7 Investment Screening Expert Group, to ensure we are resilient in our openness to all, able to tackle risks in keeping with our shared principles of open markets, transparency and competition. Our solutions will be built on our shared principles of openness, sustainability, inclusion, innovation and competition will help retain and reinforce the benefits of open markets; without them, we risk a future of normalised volatility and fragmentation in the global economy. To this end we appreciate the work by the G7 Panel on Economic Resilience, and thank the OECD for its work in support, and we will continue to work on the issues highlighted by the Panel.
FREE AND FAIR TRADE
27. We stand united in our commitment to free and fair trade as foundational principles and objectives of the rules-based multilateral system. We agree on the need for the world’s leading democratic nations to unite behind a shared vision to ensure the multilateral trading system is reformed, with a modernised rulebook and a reformed World Trade Organization (WTO) at its centre, to be free and fair for all, more sustainable, resilient and responsive to the needs of global citizens. We will maintain a particular focus on ensuring that the prosperity trade can bring is felt in all parts of our countries and by all peoples across the globe, especially the poor.
28. We support multilateral and plurilateral agendas to address issues in the global trading system itself and shared global challenges. We support G7 Trade Ministers’ efforts in this regard, and look forward to further work in the G20. Looking ahead to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in November, we will work with other WTO members to make progress on immediate issues, including reaching a meaningful conclusion to the multilateral negotiation on fisheries subsidies and advancing negotiations on e-commerce. We also welcome the work undertaken towards the conclusion of the negotiations under the Joint Statement Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation by its participants. We support G7 Trade Ministers’ commitments to review our trade policy to ensure it supports women’s economic empowerment, and recognise the importance of developing a strong evidence base of gender-disaggregated data and analysis. We invite Trade Ministers to support the wider WTO membership to deliver an ambitious outcome at MC12 to bolster women’s participation in trade and economic empowerment. We endorse the conclusions of G7 Trade Ministers on promoting the transition to sustainable supply chains, and acknowledge the risk of carbon leakage, and will work collaboratively to address this risk and to align our trading practices with our commitments under the Paris agreement. We also welcome G7 Trade Ministers’ call to work in the WTO to formulate pragmatic, effective and holistic solutions to support trade in health, as well as their support for open, diversified, secure, and resilient supply chains in the manufacture of COVID-19 critical goods and vaccines and their components.
29. We are concerned by the use of all forms of forced labour in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labour of vulnerable groups and minorities, including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors. We agree on the importance of upholding human rights and of international labour standards, including those deriving from International Labour Organisation membership, throughout global supply chains and tackling instances of forced labour. We commit to continue to work together including through our own available domestic means and multilateral institutions to protect individuals from forced labour and to ensure that global supply chains are free from the use of forced labour. We therefore task G7 Trade Ministers to identify areas for strengthened cooperation and collective efforts towards eradicating the use of all forms of forced labour in global supply chains, ahead of the G7 Trade Ministers’ meeting in October 2021.
30. We will provide the sustained effort and momentum necessary to ensure progress is made in the modernisation of the WTO to promote fair competition and help secure shared prosperity for all. We will work together at the WTO and with the wider WTO membership ahead of MC12 to advance the following points:
- modernisation of the global trade rulebook so that it both better reflects, with new rules, the transformations underway in the global economy, such as digitalisation and the green transition; and strengthens rules to protect against unfair practices, such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, lowering of labour and environmental standards to gain competitive advantage, market-distorting actions of state owned enterprises, and harmful industrial subsidies, including those that lead to excess capacity;
- stronger adherence to the existing and modernised rulebook, including through greater respect for and compliance with transparency obligations, and a strengthened WTO monitoring and deliberating function;
- a fairer approach to countries’ different responsibilities under the rulebook, including through addressing the arrangements for special and differential treatment so they reflect developments in the global economy but continue to account for the special needs of the least developed and low-income developing countries;
- proper functioning of the WTO’s negotiating function and dispute settlement system, requiring addressing long-standing issues; and,
- support for the interests of the least developed and low-income developing countries, including in the full implementation of WTO rules to integrate into the world trading system, so that any modernisation of the global trading system supports the social and economic growth and development of these countries.
31. Future frontiers of the global economy and society – from cyber space to outer space – will determine the future prosperity and wellbeing of people all over the world in the decades ahead. As we are witnessing an increasing divergence of models, this transformation raises important questions about the interaction between economic opportunity, security, ethics, and human rights, and the balance between the role of the state, businesses and individuals.
32. We will work together as part of an ongoing agenda towards a trusted, values-driven digital ecosystem for the common good that enhances prosperity in a way that is sustainable, inclusive, transparent and human-centric. In doing so we will make it a sustained strategic priority to update our regulatory frameworks and work together with other relevant stakeholders, including young people, to ensure digital ecosystems evolve in a way that reflects our shared values. We commit to preserve an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet, one that is unfragmented, supports freedom, innovation and trust which empowers people. If used properly, technologies can help us strengthen health capacities, tackle environmental threats, widen access to education and open new economic opportunities. We will leverage these technologies to advance tech for the common good and promote digital literacy worldwide. We will strengthen coordination on and support for the implementation and development of global norms and standards to ensure that the use and evolution of new technologies reflects our shared democratic values and commitment to open and competitive markets, strong safeguards including for human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also affirm our opposition to measures which may undermine these democratic values, such as government-imposed internet shutdowns and network restrictions. We support the development of harmonised principles of data collection which encourage public and private organisations to act to address bias in their own systems, noting new forms of decision-making have surfaced examples where algorithms have entrenched or amplified historic biases, or even created new forms of bias or unfairness.
33. We call on the private sector to join us in our efforts and reaffirm our support for industry-led inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches to standard setting, in line with our values and principles which underpin these standards. As such, we welcome the Presidency’s initiative of a ‘Future Tech Forum’ in September 2021 with the support of the OECD. The Forum will convene like-minded democratic partners to discuss the role of technology in supporting open societies and tackling global challenges. The Forum will support efforts to mitigate the risk of regulatory fragmentation and to facilitate coherency of our emerging technology ecosystems, and it will invite proposals for Leaders to consider in appropriate global fora. We support the aim to facilitate dialogue between governments, industry, academia, civil society and other key stakeholders. As such we will continue to take bold action to build more transparency in our technologies, building on the Open Government Partnership. Building on the work of the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) advanced by the Canadian and French G7 Presidencies in 2018 and 2019, we will aim to rally all partners around our open and human centric approach to artificial intelligence looking forward to the GPAI Summit in Paris in November 2021. To support effective standard-setting that reflects our core values and principles, we will strengthen our coordination, including by consulting with industry, with regards to engagement with and appointments to Standard Developing Organisations, where appropriate. We commit to better sharing of information and best practice, including between our national standards bodies, enhanced capacity building and support for multi-stakeholder participation in standard-setting. To this end, we endorse the Framework for G7 Collaboration on Digital Technical Standards.
34. We will support cooperation on specific areas in relation to the evolution of future frontiers. Based on the work of our Digital and Technology Ministers, we agree the focus of our cooperation for this year will be a structured dialogue around specific areas:
- Championing data free flow with trust, to better leverage the potential of valuable data-driven technologies while continuing to address challenges related to data protection. To that end we endorse our Digital Ministers’ Roadmap for Cooperation on Data Free Flow with Trust.
- Enabling businesses to use electronic transferable records in order to generate efficiencies and economic savings to support the global economic recovery. In support of this aim we endorse the Framework for G7 Collaboration on Electronic Transferable Records.
- Taking further steps to improve internet safety and counter hate speech, while protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including free expression. We will protect our citizens online and offline, including children and vulnerable at-risk groups, and especially women and girls. We therefore endorse our Digital Ministers’ Internet Safety Principles which aim to set out common approaches to improving online safety. We invite Interior Ministers to work on a G7 agreement on sharing of information and best practice on tackling existing and emerging online forms of gender-based violence, including forms of online abuse. We affirm our support of the Christchurch Call, emphasising the need for respecting freedoms of speech and peoples’ reasonable expectation of privacy and further invite G7 Interior Ministers to continue work on preventing and countering Violent Extremist and Terrorist Use of the Internet begun in Ischia in 2017 and continued in Toronto in 2018 and Paris in 2019. We commit to work together to further a common understanding of how existing international law applies to cyberspace and welcome the work of our Foreign Ministers to promote this approach at the UN and other international fora. We also commit to work together to urgently address the escalating shared threat from criminal ransomware networks. We call on all states to urgently identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks operating from within their borders, and hold those networks accountable for their actions.
- Securing supply chains. Recognising the foundational role that telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G and future communication technologies, plays and will play in underpinning our wider digital and ICT infrastructure we will promote secure, resilient, competitive, transparent and sustainable and diverse digital, telecoms, and ICT infrastructure supply chains.
- Deepening cooperation on Digital Competition in order to drive innovation across the global economy, enhancing consumer choice. We recognise that there is increasing international consensus that participants with significant market power can exploit their power to hold back digital markets and the wider economy. Therefore, building on the 2019 French G7 Presidency’s common understanding on ‘Competition and the Digital Economy’, we will work together through existing international and multilateral fora to find a coherent way to encourage competition and support innovation in digital markets.
35. Beyond these priorities, we will review whether other areas of collaboration with respect to future frontiers are appropriate. We are committed to the safe and sustainable use of space to support humanity’s ambition now and in the future. We recognise the importance of developing common standards, best practices and guidelines related to sustainable space operations alongside the need for a collaborative approach for space traffic management and coordination. We call on all nations to work together, through groups like the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the International Organization for Standardization and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, to preserve the space environment for future generations.
36. Underpinning all of these future frontiers, and wider challenges of the coming century, is the importance of scientific discovery and its deployment. We will therefore work together to promote stronger collaboration on research and development, and promote principles of research security and integrity and open science building off the historical levels of collaboration seen in the past year to internationally beneficial results. Central to this should be building a diverse and resilient science and research community, inclusive for all groups including women. Domestically we will seek to redress the imbalance in women’s and girls’ under-representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) which acts as a barrier to access to these growing industries. We will explore how existing and potential new mechanisms and initiatives can support risk reduction, prevention and response to future systemic crises, natural disasters and pace of technological change. As such we endorse the G7 Compact on Research Collaboration and its commitment to: support policies, legal frameworks and programmes to promote research collaboration; promote sharing of research data; explore enhancements to research assessment and rewards for collaboration and knowledge sharing; and develop a common set of principles which will help protect research and innovation ecosystem across the G7 to open and reciprocal research collaboration.
CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT
37. The unprecedented and interdependent crises of climate change and biodiversity loss pose an existential threat to people, prosperity, security, and nature. Through global action and concerted leadership, 2021 should be a turning point for our planet as we commit to a green transition that cuts emissions, increases adaptation action worldwide, halts and reverses biodiversity loss, and, through policy and technological transformation, creates new high quality jobs and increases prosperity and wellbeing. Ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP26) and the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD COP15), we commit to accelerating efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and keep the 1.5°C global warming threshold within reach, strengthening adaptation and resilience to protect people from the impacts of climate change, halting and reversing biodiversity loss, mobilising finance and leveraging innovation to reach these goals. We welcome and encourage business, civil society and regional commitments to global climate and biodiversity ambition through science based targets, including the Race to Resilience and Race to Zero campaigns. Together we welcome the active role and participation of vulnerable communities, underrepresented groups and will work towards achieving equality, including gender equality, in the climate and environment sector. We will continue our efforts to progress the Equal by 30 Campaign for gender equality in the energy sector.
38. As G7 members, we all reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement and to strengthening and accelerating its implementation through robust national policies and measures and scaled up international cooperation. To this end we collectively commit to ambitious and accelerated efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest, recognising the importance of significant action this decade. In line with this goal, we have each committed to increased 2030 targets and, where not done already, commit to submit aligned Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as soon as possible ahead of COP26, which will cut our collective emissions by around half compared to 2010 or over half compared to 2005. We also commit to submit 2050 Long Term Strategies (LTSs) by COP26 and to regularly update these as needed in line with the Paris agreement to reflect the latest science, technological advances and market developments. Recognising the importance of adaptation in our own national planning, we also commit to submitting adaptation communications as soon as possible, and if feasible by COP26. In fulfilling these commitments we will continue to increase our efforts to keep a limit of 1.5°C temperature rise within reach and chart a G7 pathway towards Net Zero economies. We call on all countries, in particular major emitting economies, to join us in these goals as part of a global effort, stepping up their commitments to reflect the highest possible ambition and transparency on implementation under the Paris Agreement. We also note the value of supporting international initiatives such as the OECD’s International Programme for Action on Climate Mechanism (IPAC).
39. To be credible, ambitions need to be supported by tangible actions in all sectors of our economies and societies. We will lead a technology-driven transition to Net Zero, supported by relevant policies, noting the clear roadmap provided by the International Energy Agency and prioritising the most urgent and polluting sectors and activities:
- In our energy sectors, we will increase energy efficiency, accelerate renewable and other zero emissions energy deployment, reduce wasteful consumption, leverage innovation all whilst maintaining energy security. Domestically, we commit to achieve an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s and to actions to accelerate this. Internationally, we commit to aligning official international financing with the global achievement of net zero GHG emissions no later than 2050 and for deep emissions reductions in the 2020s. We will phase out new direct government support for international carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy as soon as possible, with limited exceptions consistent with an ambitious climate neutrality pathway, the Paris Agreement, 1.5°C goal and best available science. To be credible, ambitions need to be supported by tangible actions in all sectors of our economies and societies. We will lead a technology-driven transition to Net Zero, noting the clear roadmap provided by the International Energy Agency and prioritising the most urgent and polluting sectors and activities.
- Recognising that coal power generation is the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and consistent with this overall approach and our strengthened NDCs, domestically we have committed to rapidly scale-up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity, consistent with our 2030 NDCs and net zero commitments. This transition must go hand in hand with policies and support for a just transition for affected workers, and sectors so that no person, group or geographic region is left behind. To accelerate the international transition away from coal, recognising that continued global investment in unabated coal power generation is incompatible with keeping 1.5°C within reach we stress that international investments in unabated coal must stop now and we commit now to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support. This transition must also be complemented by support to deliver this, including coordinating through the Energy Transition Council. We welcome the work by the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) and donors plan to commit up to $2 billion in the coming year to its Accelerating the Coal Transition and Integrating Renewable Energy programs. These concessional resources are expected to mobilize up to $10 billion in co-financing, including from the private sector, to support renewable energy deployment in developing and emerging economies. We call on other major economies to adopt such commitments and join us in phasing out the most polluting energy sources, and scaling up investment in the technology and infrastructure to facilitate the clean, green transition. More broadly, we reaffirm our existing commitment to eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, and call on all countries to join us, recognising the substantial financial resource this could unlock globally to support the transition and the need to commit to a clear timeline.
- In our transport sectors, we commit to sustainable, decarbonised mobility and to scaling up zero emission vehicle technologies, including buses, trains, shipping and aviation. We recognise that this will require dramatically increasing the pace of the global decarbonisation of the road transport sector throughout the 2020s, and beyond. This includes support for accelerating the roll out of necessary infrastructure, such as charging and fueling infrastructure and enhancing the offer of more sustainable transport modes, including public transport, shared mobility, cycling and walking. We commit to accelerate the transition away from new sales of diesel and petrol cars to promote the uptake of zero emission vehicles.
- In our industrial and innovation sectors we will take action to decarbonise areas such as iron and steel, cement, chemicals, and petrochemicals, in order to reach net zero emissions across the whole economy. To this end, we will harness our collective strengths in science, technological innovation, policy design, financing, and regulation including through our launch of the G7 Industrial Decarbonisation Agenda to complement, support and amplify ambition of existing initiatives. This includes further action on public procurement, standards and industrial efforts to define and stimulate demand for green products and enhance energy and resource efficiency in industry. We will focus on accelerating progress on electrification and batteries, hydrogen, carbon capture, usage and storage, zero emission aviation and shipping, and for those countries that opt to use it, nuclear power. We therefore fully support launching Mission Innovation phase two and the Clean Energy Ministerial third phase.
- In our homes and buildings, and also industry, we recognise the need for an urgent step change in the deployment of renewable heating and cooling and reduction in energy demand. This complements required shifts in building design, sustainable materials and retrofits. We therefore welcome the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative’s goal of doubling the efficiency of lighting, cooling, refrigeration and motor systems sold globally by 2030.
- In our agricultural, forestry and other land use sectors, we commit to ensuring our policies encourage sustainable production, the protection, conservation, and regeneration of ecosystems, and the sequestration of carbon. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues at the COP26 Transition to Sustainable Agriculture Policy Dialogue and UN Food Systems Summit in September.
40. Achieving our collective ambitions of a global green and resilient recovery offers the greatest economic opportunity of our time to boost income, innovation, jobs, productivity and growth while also accelerating action to tackle the existential threat of climate change and environmental degradation. To close the gap between the funds needed and actual finance flows requires mobilising and aligning finance and investment at scale towards the technologies, infrastructure, ecosystems, businesses, jobs and economies that will underpin a net-zero emissions resilient future that leaves no one behind. This includes the deployment and alignment of all sources of finance: public and private, national and multilateral. We recognise the particular challenges of financing the transition to net zero economies poses for developing countries and stand by our bilateral and multilateral commitments to support these partners, in the context of meaningful and transparent decarbonisation efforts. We reaffirm the collective developed country goal to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year from public and private sources, through to 2025 in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation. Towards this end, we commit to each increase and improve our overall international public climate finance contributions for this period and call on other developed countries to join and enhance their contributions to this effort. We welcome the commitments already made by some of the G7 to increase climate finance and look forward to new commitments from others well ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. This increase in quantity and predictability is complemented by improved effectiveness and accessibility, and includes more finance contributing to adaptation and resilience, disaster risk and insurance, as well as support for nature and nature-based solutions. We are committed to further enhance synergies between finance for climate and biodiversity and to promote funding that has co-benefits for climate and nature and are working intensively towards increasing the quantity of finance to nature and nature-based solutions. We welcome efforts of the MDBs to scale up their climate and nature finance, urge them to mobilise increased finance including from the private sector, and call on them, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), multilateral funds, public banks and relevant agencies to publish before COP26 a high-level plan and date by which all their operations will be fully aligned with and support the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the multilateral environmental agreements we support.
41. We also support the transformation underway to mobilise further private capital towards these objectives in particular to support developing countries and emerging markets in making the most of the opportunities in the transition; whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change. We call upon the MDBs and our DFIs to prioritise capital mobilization strategies, initiatives and incentives within their operations. The G7 commits to leverage different types of blended finance vehicles including through our greater strategic approach to development finance, greater collaboration between our DFIs and billions worth of planned commitments towards CIF and Green Climate Fund, all of which will mobilise billions more in private finance. We also encourage further development of disaster risk finance markets. Towards this, G7 members have committed hundreds of millions worth of new financing for early action, disaster risk and insurance in line with the InsuResilience Global Partnership and Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP). We commit to establishing the necessary market infrastructure for private finance to support and incentivise the net zero transition. Developing the global green finance market will help mobilise private sector finance, and reinforce government policy to meet our net zero commitments. We support the recently launched Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero, and call on swift, robust delivery of their commitments to reduce real economy emissions. We emphasise the need to green the global financial system so that financial decisions take climate considerations into account. We support moving towards mandatory climate-related financial disclosures that provide consistent and decision-useful information for market participants and that are based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, in line with domestic regulatory frameworks. We also look forward to the establishment of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures and its recommendations. These initiatives will help mobilise the trillions of dollars of private sector finance needed, and reinforce government policy to meet our net zero commitments. We recognise the potential of high integrity carbon markets and carbon pricing to foster cost-efficient reductions in emission levels, drive innovation and enable a transformation to net zero, through the optimal use of a range of policy levers to price carbon. We underline their importance towards the establishment of a fair and efficient carbon pricing trajectory to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economies, to achieve a net zero global emissions pathway. In all this, we will develop gender-responsive approaches to climate and nature financing, investment and policies, so that women and girls can participate fully in the future green economy.
42. Biodiversity loss is an intrinsically linked, mutually reinforcing, and equally important existential threat to our planet and our people alongside climate change. In this context, we acknowledge as the G7 our contribution to the decline of biodiversity and pledge to play our part in its restoration and conservation. We support an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted by parties at CBD COP15 which sets ambitious goals, strengthens implementation, and enhances regular reporting and review. We acknowledge our responsibility to support the world in reversing the trajectory of the loss of biodiversity and the natural environments that support it, alongside ensuring that the impact on nature is fully taken into account in our policy decision making.
43. In support of strong outcomes for nature at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP-15 in Kunming and COP26 this year, and noting the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature launched at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly 2020, we adopt the G7 2030 Nature Compact in support of the global mission to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The Nature Compact commits us to take action across four key pillars:
- First, we commit to champion ambitious and effective global biodiversity targets, including conserving or protecting at least 30 per cent of global land and at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030. We will contribute by conserving or protecting at least 30 per cent of our own land, including terrestrial and inland waters, and coastal and marine areas by 2030 according to national circumstances and approaches. These actions will help stem the extinction crisis, safeguard water and food supplies, absorb carbon pollution, and reduce the risks of future pandemics. We also fully support the commitment of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to develop a representative system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Convention area in the Southern Ocean based on the best available scientific evidence.
- Second, we will support the transition to sustainable management and use of natural resources, and use appropriate levers to address unsustainable and illegal activities negatively impacting nature, and therefore livelihoods. This includes stepping up action to tackle increasing levels of plastic pollution in the ocean, including working through the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) on options including strengthening existing instruments and a potential new agreement or other instrument to address marine plastic litter, including at UNEA-5.2.
- Third, we will work intensively towards increasing investment in the protection, conservation and restoration of nature, including committing to increase finance for nature based solutions through to 2025, maximising synergies of climate and biodiversity finance, and ensuring prominence of nature in both policy and economic decision-making.
- Finally, we will prioritise strengthened accountability and implementation mechanisms of Multilateral Environmental Agreements to which we are parties. We will implement the Compact and review our progress against it regularly through existing G7 mechanisms, including at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in five years when we will review options to ratchet up our action and ambition, as needed, to ensure delivery of our 2030 vision. Those G7 members party to the CBD will also champion successful implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be agreed at COP15.
44. Gender equality is at the heart of an open, inclusive, and just society. Persistent gaps in gender equality affect access to basic services as well as decent work, equal pay, social protection, education, technology and many other areas. Unequal division of unpaid care responsibilities in the home and low pay for paid care work also limits women’s empowerment, social and economic participation and leadership. Gender equality intersects with other characteristics and our actions need to take account of these intersections in a meaningful way, including tackling racism in all forms and violence and discrimination against LGBQTI+ populations. We recognise the devastating and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, which risks reversing hard-won gains especially with regards to gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and jobs.
45. The advancement of gender equity and equality are a central pillar of our plans and policies to build back better, informed by three key priorities: educating girls, empowering women and ending violence against women and girls. Achieving gender equality needs to be underpinned by the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of decision-making. We are committed to close alignment with the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) and commend the organisation of the first G20 Ministerial Conference on women’s empowerment. We thank the Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) for its work and recommendations, and look forward to receiving the GEAC’s full report in the Autumn. We agree to a consistent and sustained focus on gender equality to project our global leadership on this issue, and intend to convene the GEAC as a standing feature of all G7 Presidencies. We know that we cannot make true progress towards gender equality without robust data and a way to track it over time. We invite the GEAC to work with existing accountability mechanisms such as the Accountability Working Group and the Taormina Roadmap to monitor G7 commitments to achieve gender equality on an annual basis.
46. We reaffirm our full commitment to promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all individuals, and recognise the essential and transformative role they play in gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, and in supporting diversity, including of sexual orientations and gender identities. We commit to working together to prevent and address the negative impacts on access to SRHR from the COVID-19 pandemic, with specific attention to the most at risk, marginalised and inadequately served groups. In recognition of increased violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 crisis, we commit to preventing, responding to and eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV). We will achieve this through women’s empowerment and by scaling-up implementation of evidence-based, accessible survivor and victim-centred policies, prevention and support programmes, including through our pandemic response and recovery at home, in partner countries and in conflict zones. We acknowledge our collective responsibility to beneficiaries and partners, their communities, and survivors to do more to address sexual exploitation and abuse in international aid. We condemn GBV against women and girls and denounce the use of sexual violence in conflict situations and underscore that such acts may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes. We note the varied legal and institutional frameworks which currently address conflict and invite Foreign and Development Ministers to consider how best to strengthen international architecture around conflict-related sexual violence.
47. COVID-19 has exacerbated underlying inequalities, leading to one of the worst education crises in history for children around the world, but especially for the most marginalised and at risk girls. Around 11 million girls from pre-primary to secondary school are at risk of not returning to school. We commit to two new global SDG4 milestone girls’ education targets: 40 million more girls in education by 2026 in low and lower-middle income countries; and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 or the end of primary school by 2026, in low and lower-middle income countries. We endorse the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Girls Education Declaration. These targets should be underpinned by sustainable financing and so today G7 members commit to a combined total pledge of at least $2¾ billion funding over the next 5 years for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) ahead of its replenishment in July. We call on others to join with the G7 and make ambitious pledges to a fully funded GPE.
GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INTERNATIONAL ACTION
48. We will work together to promote our shared values as open societies in the international system, as reflected in the Statement on Open Societies signed with the Leaders of countries from the Indo-Pacific region and Africa, who have joined us at Carbis Bay, namely, Australia, India, South Africa and the Republic of Korea. Further to this, we commit to: increase cooperation on supporting democracy, including through strengthening the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism to counter foreign threats to democracy including disinformation; strengthen media freedom and ensure the protection of journalists; support freedom of religion or belief; condemn racism in all its forms; address human rights abuses, including the failure to protect civilians in conflict; oppose the practice of arbitrary detention, including by amplifying the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations and welcoming its Partnership Action Plan; and recognise the need for action on corruption, including by sharing information on illicit financial activities, tackling the misuse of shell companies, and curtailing the ability of illicit actors to hide wealth, including in real estate. We support the growth of peaceful, just and inclusive societies by ensuring safe and vibrant civic spaces. For our own part, our discussions have benefited from input from the perspectives and expertise of external engagement groups representing all sectors of society, including the Business 7, Civil Society 7, Labour 7, Science 7, Women 7 and Youth 7. We thank them for their consideration and recommendations across the breadth of our policy priorities.
49. We recognise the particular responsibility of the largest countries and economies in upholding the rules-based international system and international law. We commit to play our role in this, working with all partners and as members of the G20, UN and wider international community, and encourage others to do the same. We will do this based on our shared agenda and democratic values. With regard to China, and competition in the global economy, we will continue to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy. In the context of our respective responsibilities in the multilateral system, we will cooperate where it is in our mutual interest on shared global challenges, in particular addressing climate change and biodiversity loss in the context of COP26 and other multilateral discussions. At the same time and in so doing, we will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.
50. We endorse the statement made by our Foreign and Development Ministers in May. Building on this, in particular to reflect recent developments, we have reviewed the following live issues.
51. We reiterate our interest in stable and predictable relations with Russia, and will continue to engage where there are areas of mutual interest. We reaffirm our call on Russia to stop its destabilising behaviour and malign activities, including its interference in other countries’ democratic systems, and to fulfil its international human rights obligations and commitments. In particular, we call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil, to end its systematic crackdown on independent civil society and media, and to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes.
52. We reiterate our support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We call on Russia to alleviate tensions and act in accordance with its international obligations, and to withdraw the Russian military troops and materiel at the eastern border of Ukraine and on the Crimean peninsula. We remain firmly of the view that Russia is a party to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, not a mediator. We affirm our support for the Normandy Process to secure the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and call on Russia and the armed formations it backs to engage constructively and recommit to the ceasefire. We reaffirm our efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and institutions, encouraging further progress on reform.
53. We are deeply concerned by the Belarusian authorities’ continuing attacks on human rights, fundamental freedoms and international law, as exemplified by the forced landing of flight FR4978 and the arrest of an independent journalist and his partner. We will work together to hold those responsible to account, including through imposing sanctions, and to continue to support civil society, independent media and human rights in Belarus. We call on the regime to: change course and implement all the recommendations of the independent expert mission under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism; enter into meaningful dialogue with all sectors of society; and hold new free and fair elections.
54. We are deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and reports of an unfolding major humanitarian tragedy, including potentially hundreds of thousands in famine conditions. We condemn ongoing atrocities, including widespread sexual violence, and we welcome the ongoing Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) investigations and call for full accountability for reported human rights violations in Tigray and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas and the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces. We urge all parties to pursue a credible political process, which is the only solution to the crisis. We further call upon Ethiopia’s leaders to advance a broader inclusive political process to foster national reconciliation and consensus toward a future based on respect for the human and political rights of all Ethiopians.
55. While acknowledging the increased international mobilisation and the progress in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, we express our concern about the continuing attacks targeting civilian populations, and the deepening humanitarian crisis. We urge all actors to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. We will deliver on our commitments to renew efforts to address drivers of instability, with a focus on political and civilian dimensions of the “civil surge” agreed upon by the governments of the G5 Sahel and their partners, gathered in the Sahel coalition, at the N’Djamena summit in February 2021. We support the efforts of the African Union and Economic Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in response to recent events in Chad and Mali. We reiterate the necessity to create the conditions for timely civilian-led transitions to democratic, constitutional rule in both countries.
56. We confirm our full support for the interim executive authority as it pursues Libyan-led and Libyan-owned stabilisation, facilitated by the UN in the framework of the Berlin Process. We reaffirm the importance of free, fair and inclusive elections to be held on 24 December. We reiterate the urgent need to implement in full the 23 October ceasefire agreement, including through the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya. All states must comply with UN Security Council Resolutions 2570 and 2571.
57. We call on all Afghan parties to reduce violence and agree on steps that enable the successful implementation of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and to engage fully with the peace process. In Afghanistan, a sustainable, inclusive political settlement is the only way to achieve a just and durable peace that benefits all Afghans. We are determined to maintain our support for the Afghan government to address the country’s urgent security and humanitarian needs, and to help the people of Afghanistan, including women, young people and minority groups, as they seek to preserve hard-won rights and freedoms.
58. We call for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the verifiable and irreversible abandonment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in accordance with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We call on all states to fully implement these resolutions and their associated sanctions. We welcome the readiness of the United States to continue its diplomatic efforts in coordination with all relevant partners and call on the DPRK to engage and resume dialogue. We once again call on DPRK to respect human rights for all and to resolve the issue of abductions immediately.
59. We condemn in the strongest terms the military coup in Myanmar, and the violence committed by Myanmar’s security forces, and we call for the immediate release of those detained arbitrarily. We pledge our support to those advocating peacefully for a stable and inclusive democracy. Recalling ASEAN’s central role, we welcome its Five Point Consensus and urge swift implementation. We reiterate our commitment to ensuring that neither development assistance nor the sale of arms will benefit the military, and urge businesses to exercise due diligence in their trade and investment in the same vein. We reaffirm G7 unity on pursuing additional measures should they prove necessary. We are also deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation, call for unfettered humanitarian access to vulnerable and displaced populations, support the Humanitarian Response Plan, and encourage others to contribute.
60. We reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law. We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions.
61. We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon. We welcome the substantive discussions between Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) participants, and separately with the United States, to accomplish a return of the United States and Iran to their JCPoA commitments. We support the goal of restoring the nonproliferation benefits of the JCPoA and of ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We urge Iran to stop and reverse all measures that reduce transparency and to ensure full and timely cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. A restored and fully-implemented JCPoA could also pave the way to further address regional and security concerns. We condemn Iran’s support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, including through financing, training and the proliferation of missile technology and weapons. We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities and proliferation inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 and other relevant resolutions, refrain from destabilising actions and play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace. We support efforts to pursue transparency, accountability and justice for the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down by Iran in January 2020. We reiterate our deep concern over the continued human rights violations and abuses in Iran.
62. We commend the Iraqi Security Forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Government of Iraq in their success against ISIS and affirm continuing support for those efforts, including stabilisation in liberated areas. We also affirm our support for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. We fully endorse UNSCR 2576 and its call for election monitors to help ensure free and fair elections in October, and encourage all Iraqis to participate in those elections. Finally, we welcome the efforts of the Government of Iraq to hold illegal armed groups accountable for attacks against Iraqi citizens and Coalition personnel who are in Iraq at its invitation solely to train and advise Iraqi forces in their fight against ISIS.
63. We acknowledge the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 on the poorest countries who already were grappling with the effects of conflict, climate change, socio-economic shocks and a chronic lack of resources and infrastructure. As we advance recovery plans to support our economies and build back better, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through innovative measures and massive budgetary support, developing partner countries, especially in Africa, cannot be left behind. We are deeply concerned that the pandemic has set back progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and continues to exacerbate global inequalities, and therefore recommit to enhance our efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030, including by supporting the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and aligning financial flows with the SDGs. We take note of the policy options developed through the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative.
64. The IMF estimates that, between now and 2025, low income countries will need around $200 billion to respond to the pandemic and $250 billion in investment spending for convergence with advanced economies. We reiterate our commitment to implement the G20 and Paris Club Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. We support fair and open lending practices, and call on all creditors to adhere to these. We underline the importance of information sharing, and reiterate the need for comparability of treatment for private and other official bilateral creditors in debt treatments. We urge the MDBs to explore all options to unlock additional financing for developing countries, including more efficient and effective use of their resources, further work on balance sheet optimisation and further analysis of their capital adequacy frameworks.
65. We welcome the agreement by G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to support a new $650 billion allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights, urging implementation by the end of August 2021 accompanied by transparency and accountability measures. We encourage the IMF to work quickly with all relevant stakeholders to explore a menu of options for channelling SDRs to further support health needs, including vaccinations, and to help enable greener, more robust recoveries in the most affected countries, supporting the poorest and most vulnerable countries in tackling these urgent challenges. G7 countries are actively considering options that we can take as part of a global effort to magnify the impact of this general allocation for countries most in need, especially in Africa, including through voluntarily channelling SDRs and/or budget loans, in line with national circumstances and legal requirements. This includes scaling up financing to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust and the IMF’s review of concessional financing and policies to strengthen its capacity to support low income countries. To support our aim to reach a total global ambition of $100 billion, we call for contributions from other countries able to do so, alongside the G7. We task G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to urgently consider the detail of this, including by working with the G20 and other stakeholders.
66. We note with grave concern that the world faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as the UN reports that over 34 million people are already facing emergency levels of food insecurity and are one step from catastrophe or famine. In this light, we endorse the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact committed to by G7 Foreign and Development Ministers. We reaffirm our commitment to provide $7 billion in humanitarian assistance, take diplomatic action to promote humanitarian access and the protection of civilians, including women and girls, and strengthen anticipatory and early action in partnership with the UN and World Bank Group. We call attention to the rise in poverty, hunger and malnutrition globally, noting the exacerbating role of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economic shocks, biodiversity loss and increased conflict, and agree further action is needed to reverse these trends and strengthen global food systems. We reaffirm our commitment to the Broad Food Security and Nutrition Development Approach made at Elmau in 2015, and note that responsible investments in food security, food systems, and nutrition are essential to support SDG2 and World Health Assembly nutrition targets. We further encourage strong commitments in these areas to be announced at the G20, the UN Food Systems Summit, COP26 and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit later this year.
67. We recognise the significant infrastructure needs across low and middle income countries, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting our shared values and shared vision, we will aim for a step change in our approach to infrastructure financing, notably on quality infrastructure and investment, to strengthen partnerships with developing countries and help meet their infrastructure needs. Working together and with others, and by building on and going beyond our existing action, we will develop a partnership to build back better for the world with the aim of maximising impact on the ground to meet the needs of our partners, and to ensure our collective effort is greater than the sum of its parts. This partnership will orient development finance tools toward the range of challenges faced by developing countries, including in resilient infrastructure and technologies to address the impacts of climate change; health systems and security; developing digital solutions; and advancing gender equality and education. A particular priority will be an initiative for clean and green growth to drive a sustainable and green transition in line with the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030. Underpinning our approach will be the following key principles:
- values-driven vision: we believe that infrastructure development, implementation and maintenance – carried out in a transparent and financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner – will lead to beneficial outcomes for recipient countries and communities.
- intensive collaboration: we will each pursue the necessary actions through our own DFIs, and other relevant bodies, while strengthening collaboration to determine how we can increase the scale and scope of our collective offer to developing partner countries.
- market-led: we believe current funding and financing approaches are not adequate to address the infrastructure financing gap and are committed to enhancing the development finance tools at our disposal, including by mobilising private sector capital and expertise, through a strengthened and more integrated approach across the public and private sector, to reduce risk, strengthen local capacities, and support and catalyse a significant increase in responsible and market-based private capital in sectors with anticipated returns, and to strengthen local capacities, in a sustainable manner, in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
- strong standards: to ensure our approach and values are upheld, and to drive a race to the top, we will make high standards – across environmental, social, financial, labour, governance and transparency – a central plank of our approach, including by building on multilateral agreed standards on quality infrastructure such as the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment. This will help to provide citizens of recipient communities with the long-run benefits they expect and deserve. We emphasise the importance of transparent, open, economically efficient, fair and competitive standards for lending and procurement, also in line with debt sustainability, and the adherence of international rules and standards for major creditor countries.
- enhanced multilateral finance: we recognise that many MDBs and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have evolved to embody the highest standards for project planning, implementation, social and environmental safeguards, and analytical capability. We will work with the IFIs to enhance their catalytic impact and increase the mobilisation of capital needed for impactful and sustainable infrastructure investment, and ensure that the pace of project development and disbursement meets the needs of partner countries.
- strategic partnerships: we will ground this initiative in strategic and substantial partnerships between countries, to support innovation and technological development, focused on the most pressing needs.
We will work together to take forward an agenda based on these principles and work closely with others, including developing country partners, to ensure that it is developed in an open and collaborative way. We will establish a taskforce to develop practical proposals and report back to us in the Autumn.
68. A central focus of our new strategic approach will be supporting sustainable growth in Africa. Building on the conclusions of the Summit on Financing African Economies that was held in Paris on 18 May 2021 and on the needs expressed by our African partners, we are resolved to deepen our current partnership to a new deal with the African continent, with African states, institutions and expertise at its core. In line with these ambitions, our DFIs and multilateral partners intend to invest at least $80 billion into the private sector in Africa over the next five years to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in line with the AAAA. This builds on the 2X Challenge partnership between G7 DFIs launched in 2018 and the target of an additional $15 billion of new funding for this as announced by G7 Foreign and Development Ministers in May 2021 to help address the disproportionate barriers that women face to access capital, leadership roles, quality employment and affordable care. We welcome the Alliance for entrepreneurship in Africa that was launched on May 18 and look forward to its first meeting by the end of the year, under the auspices of the International Financing Corporation and in full partnership with all public and private partners willing to invest more in Africa’s future and to leverage its growth opportunities. We ask the MDBs and especially the World Bank to mobilise more private financing into Africa by developing and reinforcing the relevant risk sharing instruments for the benefit of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We reiterate our support to the G20 Compact with Africa as a key framework to enhance the business environment in Africa and call on reform orientated partners to join and strengthen this initiative. We invite G7 Foreign and Development ministers to continue to work with developing country partners and DFIs at the second Foreign and Development Ministers meeting.
69. As open societies we are committed to accountability and transparency, and to upholding the promises we have made. In this spirit, we endorse the 2021 Carbis Bay Progress Report from the G7 Accountability Working Group, reporting on G7 commitments to strengthen health systems to advance universal health coverage and global health. We look forward to the next Comprehensive Progress Report from the G7 Accountability working group in 2022.
70. In Cornwall we have revitalised our G7 partnership. Our Shared Agenda for Global Action is a statement of our shared vision and ambition as we continue to collaborate this year and under future Presidencies. As we do so we look forward to joining with others to ensure we build back better, in particular at the G20 Summit, COP26, and CBD15 and the UN General Assembly, and reiterate our support for the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19.
[Xi Jinping Attends and Delivers a Speech at the APEC Leaders' Informal Meeting
Xi Jinping pointed out that at present, the new COVID-19 epidemic has repeated ups and downs, and the situation of epidemic prevention and control is still severe. At the same time, peace and development are still the themes of the times, and the call for safeguarding multilateralism, strengthening solidarity and cooperation, and jointly coping with challenges has become stronger. We passed the APEC Vision 2040 last year and proposed the goals of the Asia-Pacific Community. The Asia-Pacific is an important engine for world economic growth. Overcoming the epidemic at an early date, restoring economic growth, and promoting the recovery of the world economy are the most important tasks for all members of the Asia-Pacific region.
First, strengthen international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic. China has provided more than 500 million doses of vaccines to developing countries, and will provide another US$3 billion in international assistance in the next three years. China is willing to actively participate in cooperation initiatives such as ensuring the stability and safety of the vaccine supply chain, promoting the circulation of key materials, and adopting effective measures to ensure the health, safety and orderly exchange of personnel. China has donated funds to APEC to establish a sub-fund of "Responding to Epidemic and Economic Recovery".
Second, deepen regional economic integration. It is necessary to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and safeguard the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization as its core. We must tear down walls instead of building walls, open instead of isolation, and integrate instead of decoupling. It is necessary to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, curb negative spillover effects, promote digital interconnection and cooperation, advance regional economic integration, and establish a high-level Asia-Pacific free trade zone as soon as possible. China has taken the lead in completing the approval of the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement and expects the agreement to come into effect within this year.
Third, persist in inclusive and sustainable development. We must persist in putting people first and achieve green growth. China attaches great importance to addressing climate change, and will strive to achieve carbon peaks by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. China supports APEC’s sustainable development and economic and technical cooperation, promotes energy efficient, clean, and diversified development, promotes inclusive trade and investment, supports the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, increases support for women and other disadvantaged groups, and strives to implement the 2030 Sustainable development agenda.
Fourth, seize opportunities for technological innovation. The global digital economy is an open and closely connected whole, and win-win cooperation is the only right way. Closed, exclusive, and divided by opposition will only lead to a dead end. It is necessary to strengthen the construction of digital infrastructure, and strive to build an open, fair, and non-discriminatory digital business environment. China will hold seminars on digital capacity building and promote cooperation initiatives such as digital technology to help tourism recovery.
Xi Jinping emphasized that China has embarked on a new journey of building a socialist modern country in an all-round way. It will build a new higher-level open economic system, create a more attractive business environment, and promote high-quality co-construction of the “Belt and Road”, sharing the world and the Asia-Pacific. Countries achieve a higher level of mutual benefit and win-win results.
In conclusion, Xi Jinping said that there is a Maori proverb in New Zealand: “When you face the sun, the shadow will eventually disappear.” We are confident in the cooperation of mankind to defeat the epidemic, in the prospects for the recovery of the world economy, and in a bright future for mankind. Let us stand in the same boat and help each other, join hands in advancing anti-epidemic cooperation and economic recovery, and create a prosperous and beautiful future for the Asia-Pacific region!
The conference was held in video mode initiated by New Zealand, the host of APEC this year. The theme is "How to seize opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region under the background of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, cooperate to respond to the health crisis, accelerate economic recovery, and lay a better foundation for future development."]