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The G7 can do more, and we expect it to do more

Biarritz – As the G7 Summit closes in Biarritz, the ONE Campaign applauds France for setting an ambitious agenda focused on vital issues, and for involving leaders from Africa not just at the Summit, but in shaping it.

The Summit did score some significant wins, but declarations have not been backed up with the financial commitments and political capital required to put the world on track to meet the challenges of the day or achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at the end of the G7 Summit, Gayle Smith, President and CEO of the ONE Campaign, said:

“The G7 leaders arrived in Biarritz to a bold and exciting agenda set out by the French, but also real doubts about whether they could agree on enough to make the most of this opportunity. At the end of the Summit, the verdict remains open.

“Important first steps were made across some vital areas – on gender equality, education, digital inclusion and a fresher and revitalised partnership with Africa. But these steps can only be taken to scale and deliver the real change needed for millions of people if countries are prepared to invest political capital, new policies and substantial resources.

“Unless we see all the G7 leaders – and indeed others – embrace the action needed to propel this agenda, inequality will win out. We know that the G7 can do more, and we expect it to do more.”

Key wins from the Summit include:

  • The formation of an independent accountability mechanism as announced by President Macron.
  • The opportunity afforded by the Summit  led to pledges from Canada, the EU, Germany and Italy to the replenishment of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria totalling US$2.6billion.
  • Initial financial commitments were made to the G7 Initiative on Digital Financial Inclusion and Women’s Economic Empowerment, the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, and the Mukwege and Murad Fund for Victims of Sexual Violence.

ONE welcomes the pledges made at the summit, but calls on donors to scale their funding to achieve meaningful outcomes.

As financial commitments are not sufficient, ONE welcomes legislative and policy change on gender equality but is waiting to see the specific commitments from each member country.

ONE also welcomes the political commitments enshrined in the Biarritz Declaration for a G7 and Africa Partnership, but is eager to see these translated into action.  We are disappointed that the G7 has not put new resources behind the Sahel Partnership Action Plan.

Gayle Smith concluded, “Declarations are great, but they’re just declarations absent the resources needed to realize their aims.  And if words alone had the power to deliver gender equality, women would be there by now and not looking at another 108 years before there’s a level playing field.

“We welcome the progress the Summit has made, but we know that the G7 can do more, and we expect it to do more.  The challenge now is to build on the steps that have been taken to secure bold action at scale at key events later this year and throughout 2020.”


Notes to Editors:

ONE’s verdict on the G7 summit

What worked?

  1. France’s leadership pursuing a bold agenda and committing funding for gender equality, education and connectivity in Africa.
  2. African countries at the negotiating table – For the first time, African countries participated in the negotiations, from the second preparatory meetings onwards. A good step towards a real partnership between equals?
  3. For the first time the leaders took commitments on legislative and policy change for gender equality.
  4. 2.6 billion USD to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In Biarritz, The EU made a commitment of EUR 550 million euros, Italy EUR 160 million euros, Germany EUR 1000 million and Canada pledged CAD 930 million on Thursday 22 August  before the summit started.
  5. Words vanish, actions remain. France announced to put in place an independent monitoring mechanism that will allow us to track progress.

What did not work?

  1. Lack of leadership from the G7 as the GROUP of 7, particularly to advance the gender equality agenda, with concrete initiatives like Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) and the digital financial inclusion for women
  2. The US did not make a single financial commitment.
  3. No important new financial resources were allocated to the Africa Partnership for development purposes.
  4. Lack of clarity on what countries stepped up on legislative and policy change for gender equality. We need to know if we are on track to progress!
  5. Revamped Sahel initiative but with what purpose? The launch of a new, but vague Sahel initiative – we don’t need new initiatives, we need action.