Are the G7 still Relevant?

In a critique of the recently concluded G7 Summit comprising seven of the most developed countries of the world the Chinese news agency Xinhua questioned the relevance of this distinguished group of countries as an effective mechanism for influencing global economies and their growth. Some of the current issues this group will have to grapple with are: the issue of Syrian migrants to the continents inland via the Greek islands; terrorism; and the growth of North Korea as a nuclear power.

Economic decline of the wealthiest nations have created differences within the groups members itself. Japan for example has been the victim of declining growth and would like to see policies in place that would strengthen its economy and move it towards more resilient growth rates. USA on the other hand is recovering from recession and facing close to zero growth in the sectors where emerging markets could hope to find demand for its exports. European nations are suffering from a debt crisis and any further easing of monetary policy by the European Central Bank is being cautiously looked upon by Germany.

Russia which previously completed the octet G8 was ousted in 2014 for its militant annexations in the Ukraine which the G7 considered as breach of International Law and a violation of the shared values of G7 to protect the integrity and independence of other nations. Russia however considers the values of the group to be very limited and it is unlikely that President Putin will reverse his decision. The ousting and economic and political sanctions by G7 members have not helped ease the situation. Europe’s fear of another war and USA’s historical aversion to Russia may have precipitated an expulsion instead of further mediation to resolve the situation. The G7 has faced criticism from the European communities as the continent is dependent on Russia’s natural gas and Germany would like to see Russia return to the group.

The joint economic wealth of G7 has declined from two thirds of the world’s total wealth in 2013 to about 47%. The political influence of the group has also declined due to failed international policies. It is being said that US policies in the Middle East have resulted in the rise of terrorism and that of ISIS. While the truism of this assertion cannot be judged without clear cut evidence it is true that the group has a tough agenda on its hand.

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