At this G7 summit, we have discussed a range of issues – including the vital importance of defending democracy and the rules-based international system, free and fair global trade, the need to work for equal opportunities for all our citizens, and the need to protect our oceans.
There have been some difficult conversations and strong debate, but – by working together – we have agreed on outcomes to shape a better future.
Upholding international law
Foreign interference in our democratic institutions and processes, and other forms of malign state activity, pose a strategic threat to our shared values and interests.
Recent events have demonstrated the importance of a unified international response to send a clear message that such malign activity will never be tolerated.
We have agreed a new Rapid Response Mechanism to tackle this growing threat.
We have agreed we must maintain the global norm against the use of chemical weapons – and we have agreed to strengthen the ability of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks.
I also welcome the G7’s recognition of the need to maintain sanctions on Russia in light of Russia’s failure to fully implement the Minsk Agreements in Ukraine. We have agreed to stand ready to take further restrictive measures against Russia if necessary.
Making the global economy work for everyone
On trade and the global economy, we have discussed the importance of the multilateral rules-based trading system, as the framework for enabling free and fair global trade.
But some people feel left behind by globalization. And not all countries play by the rules. So we need to show our citizens that the global economy can truly work for everyone, with the benefits of free trade felt by all.
That means working to make the international system, including the World Trade Organization, operate more effectively. It does not mean taking unilateral action against your partners.
Where we disagree with our allies on something, it is right that we say so, and air the issue openly and frankly.
We have done just that at this summit, registering our deep disappointment at the unjustified decision by the US to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminum imports.
The loss of trade through tariffs undermines competition, reduces productivity, removes the incentive to innovate – and ultimately makes everyone poorer. And in response, the EU will impose countermeasures.
At the same time, we need to avoid continued tit-for-tat escalation, and maintain a constructive dialogue. As a champion of free trade, the UK will continue to support these efforts.
What distinguishes the G7 is our common belief in human rights and the equal value in every citizen’s voice, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or socio-economic background.
I am a passionate advocate of improving education for girls around the world. And, at this summit, the UK has announced £187 million of new funding to support over 400,000 girls in developing countries in getting 12 years of quality education.
We have also committed to new action to prevent gender-based violence, abuse and harassment online.
Following the UK call for tech companies to do more to help fight internet harms, they have already made significant strides in using new technologies to tackle online extremist content – and we now need to extend that effort to address the growing threat of online violence against women and girls.
In particular, we are committed to new joint working to tackle the use of the internet to facilitate people trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Finally, we have discussed the urgent need for global action to tackle oceans pollution, which is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world.
The UK government is a world leader on this issue, through our 25 Year Environment Plan.
And here at this summit, we have recognized the need for greater global action and coordination on marine plastics pollution, including working with business, industry and Non-Governmental Organizations to find innovative solutions.
The discussions here have been candid and they have been productive – underlining the importance of continuing to work together to uphold the values that shape our world.
The G7 is a vital forum for full and frank discussion between close allies. I want to take this opportunity to thank Justin Trudeau for his leadership in delivering a positive outcome. Together, we stand determined to create a safe, secure and prosperous future for all our citizens.