There is still intolerable inequality in today’s world – not only in terms of income, but also access to education, healthcare, or even drinking water. And in many countries, the situation for women is even worse. Beyond the individual suffering it causes, inequality makes the status quo unbearable and legitimately fuels many of the social and political protests which are destabilizing certain world regions.
Under its G7 Presidency, France is tackling the roots of inequality and working to make genuine progress towards the day when Article 1 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen will become a reality.
“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, from the French Revolution.
To face this challenge, France is overhauling the format of the G7: in 2019, it will be your G7, for our future – and not just a behind-closed-doors meeting between Heads of State and Government. The highlight of this year of discussions and actions will be the G7 Summit in Biarritz, southwestern France, from 24 to 26 August 2019.
It was agreed at the summit that the World Trade Organization, "with regard to intellectual property protection, to settle disputes more swiftly and to eliminate unfair trade practices", "to simplify regulatory barriers and modernize international taxation within the framework of the OECD", "to ensure that Iran never acquires nuclear weapons and to foster peace and stability in the region.", "to support a truce in Libya that will lead to a long-term ceasefire" and addressed the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.
Topics discussed included global trade, global warming, and taxing technology companies. European Council President Donald Tusk said leaders at the summit should discuss the Iran nuclear deal, which was at risk due to the U.S. government's decision to pull out.
On August 23, President Emmanuel Macron urged the G7 to lead the summit discussions with the 2019 Amazon wildfires, which he described as an "international crisis". He said, "Our house is burning. Literally.", adding that the Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the world's oxygen. U.S. President Donald Trump offered to take the position of the Brazilian government to the meeting, and said that the U.S. government did not agree to discuss the issue without Brazil's presence. The United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Spain and Chile also support Brazil. During the meeting, it was reported that there were "sharp differences" among the participants.