With Japan presiding over the G7 in 2023, the organisation’s Think 7 (T7) engagement group with think tanks met in Tokyo from 27-28 April 2023 for its yearly summit, just three weeks before the G7 summit in Hiroshima from 19-21 May. Addressing Crises, Reigniting Sustainable Development, Bridging the G7 and G20 was the theme of this year’s T7 Japan.
A member of the T7 since 2022, The Bridge Tank had taken part in the T7 handover webinar in November 2022 during which Germany had handed over the T7 chairmanship to the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). The meeting had marked the start of a year during which T7 focussed on “promoting multilateralism and G7 engagement with developing countries to help address global challenges” as well as promoting “inclusive and sustainable growth and development.”
For the past months, T7 Japan discussed and prepared policy recommendations within 4 task forces :
- Development and Economic Prosperity,
- Wellbeing, Environmental Sustainability, and Just Transition,
- Science and Digitalization for A Better Future,
- Peace, Security, and Global Governance.
T7 recommendations & priorities
The Tokyo Summit from 27-28 April 2023 brought forth the conclusions and recommendations raised by the different T7 task forces for the G7 throughout the first half of 2023. The April 2023 Think7 Japan Communiqué stressed the urgency of:
- Addressing intersecting crises: threats to global peace, the rampant international financial crisis and dept crisis, threats to climate and biodiversity and the need to strengthen environmental diplomacy;
- Reigniting Agenda 2030 and stressing the centrality of the SDGs as a guiding force for the future;
- Investing in Global Science Systems and Research Infrastructure
- Fostering greater collaboration between G7/G20.
This call for greater G7/G20 collaboration was also illustrated during the T7 Summit through a session gathering the Chairs of 2022 T7 Germany, 2023 T7 Japan, 2023 T20 India, 2024 T20 Brazil, and 2024 T7 Italy, as both engagement groups expressed their eagerness to deepen ties.
Greater engagement with the Global South
Ahead of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, ADBI Dean and T7 Chair Tetsushi Sonobe re-empasised the need for the G7 and its partners to deepen their engagement with developing countries. Such collaboration between the G7 and the Global South would be critical to address intersecting crises and encourage sustainable development, Dean Sonobe added.
The T7’s call for greater engagement with the Global South found an echo at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, as invitations to take part in the summit were extended to a large community of nations, particularly from the Global South. Invited countries included Brazil, which currently chairs the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, India, which holds the 2023 G20 Presidency, Comoros, which chairs the African Union in 2023, Indonesia, currently chairing the ASEAN, as well as Vietnam, the Cook Islands, South Korea and Australia.