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Why in the news?
Recently, the United Kingdom has invited the Indian Prime Minister to attend the G7 summit that is scheduled to be held in June.
- The summit will be the first in-person G-7 summit in almost two years, as it will be held in the English region of Cornwall.
- In addition to India, Australia and South Korea have been invited as guest countries, demonstrating the United Kingdom’s dedication to ensuring that multilateral institutions better represent today’s environment.
- In August 2019, the Indian Prime Minister attended the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, and was also invited to the US-hosted summit in 2020. (Could not take place due to the pandemic).
- In 2005, the United Kingdom was the first P5 member to support India’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council role, as well as the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit.
- Member states: The G7 consists of the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the European Union.
- It is the only forum where the world’s most powerful and open societies and advanced economies meet for discussions.
- It is an intergovernmental organization established in 1975 by the world’s leading economies as an informal forum for discussing pressing global issues.
- Since Russia joined the initial seven in 1997, the G-7 was dubbed the ‘G-8′ for several years.
- After Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 as a result of the latter’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea territory, the Group was renamed G-7.
How the Group of Seven (G-7) Works?
- Focus on economic issues: The G-7’s main goal is to address and, on occasion, work in concert to help solve global problems, with an emphasis on economic issues. The group has addressed financial problems, monetary structures, and major world crises, such as oil shortages, since its inception in the early 1970s.
- Focus on debt relief: In addition, the G-7 has initiated programs to finance challenges and alleviate problems where it sees a need for coordinated action. Several of these efforts are directed at debt relief for developed countries.
- Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI): The G-7 initiated an initiative for the 42 highly indebted developing countries (HIPC) in 1996, in collaboration with the World Bank, as well as a Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), a 2005 commitment to cancel the International Development Association debt of countries that have completed the MDRI program.
Significance of India’s participation in G7 Summit:
- India and G-7
- Important Platform for Deliberations: India’s ability to safeguard its core sovereign concerns, such as trade, the Kashmir question, and India’s ties with Russia and Iran, can be addressed with G7 members on this important platform.
- Previous Participation: India’s attendance at the 45th Summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019 reflects the country’s growing strategic partnership and recognition as a global economic force. India was also invited to the United States’ 2020 summit, which was canceled due to the pandemic. India had previously attended the G-8 summit five times between 2005 and 2009 (it was renamed G-7 after Russia was expelled in 2014).
- Taking the Lead on Global Issues: India discussed climate change and other issues at meetings, signaling India’s increasing willingness to lead on issues that are a source of contention for countries such as China and the United States.
- Significance of India’s participation:
- All challenges are addressed: Because it is the most influential grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been a catalyst for decisive international action to address the greatest challenges.
- Help recovering from Covid: The UK proposes to use its G7 presidency to bring together the world’s leading democracies to help the world recover from Covid and move toward a greener, more sustainable future.
- Climate change is also discussed: It seeks to solve common problems such as overcoming the coronavirus and combating climate change, as well as ensuring that everybody benefits from free trade, technological advancement, and scientific discovery.
- UK can propose for India’s permanent seat in UN Security Council: The United Kingdom and India’s partnership is important because India is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, where the United Kingdom will assume the presidency.
- Driving multilateral cooperation: As the new president of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the G20 president in 2023, India will play a key role in driving multilateral cooperation and helping to rebuild the world.
- Strengthen cooperation with developed countries: The UK intends to use the G7 Summit to strengthen cooperation among the world’s most democratic and technologically advanced nations. As many households as possible for three months using current digital networks, including but not limited to Jan Dhan accounts.
Challenges and Concerns associated with G7:
- Policies: Internally the G7 has a number of disagreements, e.g. clash of the USA with other members over taxes on imports and action on climate change. The organization has also been criticized for not reflecting the current state of global politics or economics.
- Not Representative: There are no G7 members from Africa, Latin America or the southern hemisphere. It is also facing a challenge from fast-growing emerging economies, like India and Brazil are not members of the G7. However, G-20 was formed in 1999, in response to a felt need to bring more countries on board to address global economic concerns.
- Expansion to G-8:
- The G-7 has responded as the global economy has evolved, including when the Soviet Union pledged to create an economy with freer markets and held its first direct presidential election in 1991.
- Following a 1994 G-7 meeting in Naples, President Boris Yeltsin held meetings with G-7 member countries, in what became known as the P-8 (Political 8).
- In 1998, after urging from leaders including U.S. President Bill Clinton, Russia was added to the G-7 as a full member, creating a formal Group of Eight, or G-8.
- The G-8 ended up being short-lived. In 2014, Russia was suspended from the group after the annexation of Crimea and tensions in Ukraine. That remains the case today.
Mains oriented question:
Write about working of G-7? What are its significance for India? (200 words)