News: Recently, the Indian Prime Minister addressed the 47th G7 Summit 2021.
Key highlights of 47th G7 Summit:
- It is aimed squarely at competing with China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which has been widely criticised for saddling small countries with unmanageable debt but has included even G7 member Italy since launching in 2013. It will collectively catalyse hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries (in Asia and Africa) and offer a values-driven, high-standard and transparent partnership with G7.
- Signed off on a joint statement (Democracies 11) by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression.
- The statement also refers to politically motivated internet shutdowns as one of the threats to freedom and democracy. While the statement is directed at China and Russia, India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its New IT rules 2021 with tech giants.
- Democracies 11 is facing threats to freedom and democracy from rising authoritarianism, electoral interference, corruption, economic coercion, manipulation of information, including disinformation, online harms and cyber-attacks, politically motivated internet shutdowns, human rights violations and abuses, terrorism and violent extremism.
- The G7 signed the Carbis Bay Declaration. It is aimed at preventing future pandemics. The G7 also pledged over 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses for poorer nations with half of that coming from the United States and 100 million from Britain. 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022. The doses would come both directly and through the international COVAX program.
- Renewed a pledge to raise their contributions to meet an overdue spending pledge of USD 100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions. Promised to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
India and G7:
- India is a natural ally for the G7 countries in defending the shared values from a host of threats stemming from authoritarianism, terrorism and violent extremism, disinformation and economic coercion.
- Expressed concerns that open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks.
- It sought the support of the grouping to lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. Planet’s atmosphere, biodiversity and oceans cannot be protected by countries acting in silos, and called for collective action on climate change. India is the only G-20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments.