The Group of Seven kicks off the G-7 summit on Friday as leaders from several nations meet to discuss global issues as well as the economics and finances of their own nations.
Here is everything to know about this week’s G-7 meeting:
When is the G-7 summit?
This year’s G-7 summit begins on Friday, May 19, and is being held in Hiroshima, Japan.
What is the G-7?
The G-7 is a group of large advanced democracies, and the summit is attended by each of the seven nations’ head of government. The location, and the group’s presidency, rotates annually between the member nations. This year is Japan’s turn to host.
During the multiday meeting, leaders aim to find solutions to complex global issues with a particular focus on trade, economics, energy and security.
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Which countries are in G-7?
The group makes up many of the word’s most advanced economies. Members include the United States, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. The European Union is considered a “non-enumerated” member and does not take a rotation in the G-7 presidency.
Japan’s Fumio Kishida, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Emmanuel Macron, the U.K.’s Rishi Sunak, Germany’s Olaf Scholz and the U.S.’s Joe Biden will be joined by President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen this year.
The first G-7 summit occurred in 1975, although the inaugural meeting was actually called G-6 because there was only six countries involved. Canada joined the group in 1976, thus making it the G-7.
From 1998 to 2014, Russia joined the summit, making it the G-8. When Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, the country’s membership was suspended, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Russia never rejoined the group.
In 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump advocated for Russia’s return to the group, as well as the inclusion of India, Australia and South Korea. The other member nations rejected his plea and those countries were not admitted.
What happened at previous G-7s?
Countries at last year’s G-7 announced plans to support Ukraine in its war efforts against Russia, as well as make COVID-19 vaccines more globally available. 2021’s summit centered around a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.
Some have wondered why large economic powers like China and India are not in the G-7, considering that the global share of the economy of G-7 nations has dropped since the early 2000s.
What topics will be discussed at this year’s G-7?
According to Japan’s G-7 website, topics this year will include Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, nuclear weapons, economic security, climate and energy, food security and global health architecture.
Biden will be attending this year’s G-7 while under economic pressure from his own country. The president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are locked in debt-ceiling negotiations, but recent reports indicate at least some progress has been made.
Biden said about this year’s G-7 summit: “When our countries stand together, we stand stronger, and I believe the whole world is safer when we do.”