G7 countries commit to uphold democracy, champion rights and protect world’s most vulnerable.
The UK brought together foreign and development ministers from G7 countries, as well as guests from the Indo-Pacific region and Africa, this week for decisive co-ordinated action on shared global challenges and threats.
The first face-to-face meeting of foreign ministers in over two years combined the UK’s diplomatic and development expertise to help deliver progress on the UK’s overall G7 Presidency goal of building back better from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Leaders’ Summit takes place in Cornwall next month.
Following two days of constructive talks, the group of like-minded nations reached a powerful agreement to work together to defend democracy, uphold basic freedoms and human rights and step up support to protect those hardest hit by crises such as Covid-19, climate change and famine.
At the meetings, which took place in London, G7 countries agreed to:
Tackle the biggest geopolitical threats by:
- calling out the concerning Russian troop build-up on Ukraine’s border
- agreeing tough, further measures on Myanmar if the military refuses to change course
- committing to future support for the Afghan Government, conditional on progress on the peace process
- setting out a united, balanced approach on China with the strongest condemnation yet of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, G7 commitment to tackle forced labour camps and calling out China’s coercive economic practices.
Safeguard democracy though:
- more action on defending media freedom around the world by local G7 diplomatic missions, backed by increased funding to the Global Media Defence Fund
- bolstering our Rapid Response Mechanism, including through a new NATO partnership that will counter threats like vaccine disinformation
- G7 collaboration to deter the abhorrent practice of arbitrary detention, including a new Canadian-driven Action Plan.
Support a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and help those hardest hit by crises through:
- landmark collective action to improve access to life-saving vaccines
- two new ambitious girls’ education targets: 40 million more girls in school by 2026 and 20 million more girls reading by the time they leave primary school
- agreement to invest $15 billion to support women with new economic opportunities
- a new famine prevention and humanitarian crises agreement – mobilising collective diplomatic action to promote international humanitarian law and collectively contributing over £5bn in humanitarian aid to the 42 countries one step away from catastrophe or famine
- a commitment to make people safer from climate disasters, through early warning, better preparedness and early action
- actions to scale up the finance needed to help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.
2021 marks a crucial year of international leadership for the UK. In addition to the G7 Summit in Cornwall next month, later this year we will host COP26 in Glasgow. In July we will host the Global Education Summit to help drive action towards the newly agreed global targets to get 40 million more girls into school, and 20 million more girls reading by age 10, by 2026, in low and lower-middle-income countries.
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