The G7 and civil society

An ongoing dialogue with the G7 engagement groups: business, think tanks, labour, science, women, youth.

Dialogue with Civil Society

Civil society is a crucial interlocutor for the G7 Presidencies. It plays an advocacy role, helping mobilize key actors and bringing institutions closer to the grassroots level. Civil society also encourages and monitors the leaders, to ensure that they honor the pledges they have made. Italy has initiated ongoing dialogue with all the representatives of the so-called G7 engagement groups (Business7, Civil7, ThinkThank7, Labor7, Science7, Women7 and Youth7), which will not only submit their policy recommendations to the leaders and institutions in connection with the issues on the G7 agenda, but will also organize their own parallel summits over the course of Italy’s Presidency.

First step of the dialogue between the G7 and civil society

On January 27, the G7 Sherpas met with delegates from the so-called “Civil 7”, in Rome. The C7 is made up of figures from civil society, in particular from the world’s most important NGOs. Discussion revolved around many different issues: environment and climate, food security, nutrition and agriculture, immigration, health, women’s rights and social inequality.

The meeting is part of an ongoing dialogue between G7 governments and civil society, which has gained significant relevance over the last few years. In 2016 more than 100 NGOs were invited to Ise-Shima, for the Japanese Presidency’s Summit.

Under Italy’s Presidency, the G7 will continue to actively involve NGOs, in an effort to further strengthen the dialogue with civil society. The January 27 meeting revealed a consensus over the issues to be addressed, especially those linked to the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030.

C7 representatives at the meeting included delegates of the following organizations: Interaction, World Vision Japan, Amref, Global Citizen, Plan International Canada, Global Health Advocates France, World Vision US and WWF Italia. The following groups also participated: Action Contre la Faim, CARE, Oxfam Italia e Germania, ONE, AIDOS, Results Canada, Osservatorio AIDS, Save the Children Italia, ADRA Japan, GCAP Italy/Global, ActionAid Italia, What World Strategies, Transparency International Italy, Iscos Cisl, Caritas Italy. With the representation of so many different purviews, the G7 reaffirms its determination to maintain open communications with civil society.

Italy’s B7 Presidency in 2017 meets the Sherpas

Global trade governance, innovation, sustainability and the efficient use of resources: these are the main themes on the B7 agenda, as indicated at the January 27 meeting between representatives from the business community and the G7 Sherpas. The objective of this meeting was to illustrate the B7 priorities for the upcoming March 30–31 event, to be supervised and coordinated by Confindustria.

Each year, alongside the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government, the Business organizations of G7 Countries hold a “Business Summit”, with a rotating presidency that corresponds to the G7 one. Held for the first time under the German Presidency, in Berlin in 2007, the B7 offers the opportunity to business leaders from all the G7 countries to meet and formulate concrete proposals and policy recommendations. Through a joint declaration, they convey to the G7 Presidency the recommendations of the business sector.

The priorities of the B7 Italy are clustered in two panels. The first will be dedicated to “Global Trade Governance” — which includes various subcategories such as market access, non-tarriff barriers, market distortions, unrestricted competition and WTO reform — and the second will deal with “Innovation and Sustainability”. As part of this latter topic, the B7 will address: Industry 4.0, R&D policies, energy efficiency and circular economy.

Furthermore, on March 30, an International Workshop will precede the B7 gathering, and will be open to the public. This meeting, with the aim of contributing to the definition of coherent policies for sustainable development, will focus on resource efficiency, and will be organized by Confindustria together with the Global Business Coalition. The conference will mainly deal with resource efficiency, to be meant as smart management of both materials, energy sources and natural resources. As highlighted by Confindustria, this topic has been chosen due to its several industrial policy implications, as well as for the horizontal impacts on energy, environment, transports, infrastructures, innovation and research.

For more on the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, and our dispatches on the Italian presidency of the G7 in 2017, follow our G7inUS publication here on Medium and Medium Italiano, or follow us on Twitter. For the official channel of the G7 presidency in 2017, follow @G7 on Twitter or visit the G7 official website.

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