Has the G7 delivered? On the final press conference of the G7 engagement groups

01 December 2022 I

On December 1st, 2022, the G7 engagement groups Women7, Youth7 and Civil7 met at the Federal Press Office in Berlin for a joint press conference. Thereby, the three groups presented their résumé on the process of the G7 Summit 2022.

Based on the demands of Women7, the following assessment of the German G7 Presidency can be made: Positively can be noted, that a more progressive language has been used, for example by including the LGBTQI* Community. Furthermore, the G7-Leaders-Declaration recognizes the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on women and girls, and the value of underpaid and unpaid care work.  It also took the first steps toward accountability mechanisms for challenging gender gaps. However, it remained a rhetorical commitment to “full engagement for the realization of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the G7 final declaration. The G7 countries did not announce any concrete instructions on how this is to be implemented. Following, there is a lack of further financial commitments to advance gender equity. The only financial commitment that the G7 countries have pledged is a 79 million US dollar fund to create incentives for childcare structures (Childcare Incentive Fund). This is not enough. Especially at a time when democracy is under attack all over the world.

The two other engagement groups also draw a sober conclusion of the German G7 presidency. For example, Civil7 observes a trend towards neo-colonialism and block formation, and was disappointed to find that the G7 made no progress on climate finance. According to Civil7, there is a lack of clear commitments and actions to phase out fossil fuels. From a youth policy perspective, Youth7 also faced disappointments. The term “youth” did not even make it into the G7 communiqué on its own, and mental health, which is a very crucial issue for young people, also came up short. Youth7 has therefore expressed very clear demands that youth must have a place at the table, should always be represented and heard during decision making processes.

Finally, it can be said that the involvement of civil society structures, such as the engagement groups, are necessary to bring transformative change in times of crisis. For this to happen, the financial support of such groups would have to be secured in order to be able to create a long-term partnership.