Forging a new era of cooperation
G7 Summit

Forging a new era of cooperation

The world is living through a whirlwind of change and complexity. The climate emergency, the explosive rise of artificial intelligence and autocrats attempting to redraw borders by force – these multi-crises are morphing into multi-conflicts. Amid this tumult, the G7 plays a unique role in defending freedom, democracy and the rule of law and working to solve problems that improve people’s lives. This year’s G7 summit is a rallying cry for strong collective action, with a special focus on strengthening relationships with developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Africa is a continent brimming with energy, talent and young people eager to fulfil their potential. It has the youngest population in the world – 70% of sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 30 – and accounts for 11 of the world’s 20 fastest growing economies. Yet Africa remains vulnerable to rising geopolitical tensions, regional conflicts and political instability. As the G7, we must strengthen our economic partnerships with African countries to fight poverty, tackle climate change and create jobs.

Europe and Africa share enormous potential to generate stability and prosperity for our peoples. The European Union is forging a strong relationship with the African continent founded on two key principles: trust and respect. Fair and mutually beneficial partnerships, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, are the bedrock of economic development and stability on the continent. The EU is working with African partners to create local supply chains that integrate Africa’s raw materials into sustainable global supply chains, building local value and greater prosperity.

Together, we must ensure that the world’s financial architecture is fit for today’s needs. Fair access to financing is a top priority. To this end, the EU fully supports the upcoming United Nations Summit of the Future, under the leadership of Secretary-General António Guterres, to drive forward international cooperation and concrete steps to achieve our common goals.

As G7, we should focus on three key areas.

First, partnering more closely with Africa to make a success of the clean energy transition. Africa stands at a crossroads and energy will play a pivotal role in shaping its future. Roughly 600 million Africans have no access to energy, most importantly electricity. With our African partners, the EU supports efforts for affordable energy production and distribution. G7 members can do their part to build clean energy supply chains and increase renewables on the continent, aligning with the COP28 goal to triple renewable energy and double efficiency by the end of the decade. Initiatives including the European investment package, Italy’s Mattei Plan, Germany’s Compact with Africa, France’s New Global Financing Pact, and the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment will reinforce Africa’s energy resilience.

Second, we must tackle food insecurity and strengthen global food systems. The world produces enough food to feed everyone on our planet, yet over 800 million people are unsure where their next meal will come from. In Africa, food insecurity and acute food shortages are getting worse, triggered by Russia’s war against Ukraine, climate change and soaring fertiliser prices. We must reverse this trend by building sustainable local agriculture and fertiliser production that reinforce food security, including through the G7 Apulia Food Systems Initiative.

Third, strengthening health systems across Africa should be a top priority. The EU and Africa are teaming up to address future public health challenges, including through the local manufacturing of vaccines, medicines and health products – in Africa, by Africa, for Africa. A successful conclusion of the Pandemic Agreement being negotiated within the World Health Organization would help the global community prepare for and respond to future health threats.

As G7, we also have a special responsibility to make the world more stable and peaceful. War and conflict destroy people’s lives and devastate our planet. They eat up vital resources, diverting them from urgent issues such as climate change, the digital transition and sustainable development. Lasting progress on global challenges can only be built on a foundation of peace. The G7 must help to lay this foundation, by reducing tensions and working for peace. There is no development without peace.

Some players around the globe are throwing sand in the gears of multilateral cooperation. They want to change the rules of the game. The G7 is a staunch defender of the rules-based system and global cooperation. Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine is a frontal attack on this world order. It violates the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity of all countries, triggering multiple crises worldwide. Allowing the Kremlin to redraw borders with the barrel of a gun would change the course of history, not only in Europe but for the world. That is why the EU will continue to back Ukraine for as long as needed.

The Kremlin is solely responsible for this war and its global consequences. Russia is a nuclear power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a so-called guarantor of the international rules-based order. There can be no double standards. The EU will never stop calling out the Kremlin’s criminal actions. The EU will continue to impose strong sanctions on Russia until it ceases to violate the UN Charter. We reiterate that these sanctions do not apply to agricultural products or fertilisers.

Each civilian life matters. Everywhere. In the Middle East, everything must be done to protect civilians. No double standards – international humanitarian law must be respected everywhere.

The EU works tirelessly with partners to end the war in Gaza. We demand an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and unhindered humanitarian aid to Palestinians, who are facing famine. As we look to the future, the only path to a lasting peace in the region is based on the two-state solution so both Israelis and Palestinians can live safely.

Unity and collective action. This is the path to solving the world’s most urgent problems. When we act as one, we have the power of many – to transform lives and change the course of history, for developing countries, for our planet and for greater peace among nations. The European Union listens to its partners and strives to build respectful and mutually beneficial relationships for a fair, peaceful and prosperous future for generations to come.