published July 06, 2022 23:30 UTC +12
The 48th G7 (Group of Seven) was held 26-28 June, 2022. The host: Germany. It was held in the Bavarian Alps, at Schloss Elmau. Countries of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, UK, USA, and European Union. It was Germany’s turn to take presidency this year, which it did on Jan 1, 2022. The host was Germany.
The G7: an event for country leaders, and decision-makers which took place successfully last week in the Bavarian Alps.
It was uneventful in terms of any disruptions, bar some protests which were kept away from the site at a distance.
‘Some 50 protesters registered with the police to protest in the vicinity of the summit had requested to move their demonstration some 200 metres closer to Schloss Elmau resort.
However, a regional court in Munich on Monday rejected the bid on security grounds, meaning the protest has to take place 500 metres away from the summit venue.’ (dpa-news.de)
Greenpeace activists also staged a protest. (Protests before international summits are not new in Germany. The G20 for instance, in 2017, had demonstrations in Hamburg. (source: journalistfrei.de, material from dpa news-de)
In the southern German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, not far from where the summit is being held nearby in Elmau, there were around 1,000 protestors who took to the streets, with a focus on climate.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said that one of the key topics being discussed was what to do about the looming starvation and hunger crisis in various countries, mainly due blockaded grain shipments from Ukraine black sea ports. He spoke during the conference to German public broadcaster ZDF on day two from the summit, saying ‘”Negotiations are ongoing day and night.”
‘Historic’ was the term used by Joe Biden, US President, to describe Germany’s decision to boost defence spending earlier this year to 2% of GDP on defence. (This has in recent years been somewhat of a regular theme from United States – suggestions or requests for a boost in defence spending from NATO countries). The increase in 2022 of Germany’s defence spending (to €100 billion) was significant in view of Germany military spending gradients of increase. For instance: it’s budget for 2019 was $49.28B, for 2018 $46.51B, fo 2017 $42.37B, and for 2016 $39.72B. (source: macrotrends.net)
“The president welcomed Germany’s historic commitment to significantly boost defence spending and meet its NATO commitments, which will strengthen the alliance’s long-term deterrence and defense posture,” said a White House statement (as cited by dpa news.de).
A climate club was advocated by the German Chancellor to help deal with rising costs of food and energy, who said one of the main issues the world needed to deal with was climate change (in addition to the situation in Ukraine, a major focus of the summit).
Reaction to the G7 included critics such as a spokesperson from Oxfam Germany saying the G7 food supply pledge ($4.5 billion to improve global food security) was insufficient. He said it would take around $29 billion or more to deal adequately with the food crisis.
The summit declarations are “intended to distract from the historic failure of the G7,” a spokesperson of Oxfam said (as cited by dpa news.de)
The World Food Programme, this year alone, said Stephan Exo-Kreischer of One Germany, would need $21.5 billion. He, too, said the G7 pledge was insufficient to deal with the problem. Additionally, he criticised the summit for not providing more precise details on how current grain shipments problems from Ukraine were to be solved.
– written by Katrina Wood, with reporting from dpa news-de