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REACTION: G7 consensus crumbles at the expense of the world's poorest people

Posted by Melanie Kramers Senior Press Officer

27th May 2017

Commenting on the G7 summit communiqué, Oxfam said leaders had failed to address the key challenges facing the world's poorest people.

Roberto Barbieri, Executive Director of Oxfam Italy, said: "The G7 leaders have been absent without leave on some of the biggest issues of our age. Their focus on security is understandable in light of recent cruel attacks, but this should not be at the expense of tackling famine or the challenges of migration. 

"President Trump, more than anyone else, has assumed the role of spoiler-in-chief - blocking agreement on many of these key concerns that affect millions of the world's poorest people. The summit merely provided a full stop at the end of his foreign tour, begging the question of whether this rich leaders' club is still relevant today." 

Climate change

Barbieri added: "The one ray of hope was on climate: despite President Trump's signalling that the United States does not stand with the rest of the world on the Paris Agreement, it is courageous that six of the G7 countries stood up to him and reaffirmed their commitment to deliver on the climate deal made in 2015. Oxfam urges the other countries to continue the dialogue with the United States to get them to accept the reality of climate change and to stay in the Paris Agreement."

Hunger crisis 

Barbieri added: "The leaders have not done nearly enough for the 30 million people facing the prospect of famine across four countries and it is a calamity that the Taormina initiative on food security proposed by the Italian government did not gain sufficient support from the other leaders. That none of the G7 countries has provided its fair share of aid to all these crises is a sad indictment of their collective failure to provide leadership. Despite much talk of security, the summit saw no mention of measures to end the brutal conflicts that are driving this global hunger crisis."


Barbieri added: "Even though this summit took place in Sicily, a stone's throw from where so many migrants have died, it produced no concrete steps to protect vulnerable migrants or to address the root causes of displacement and migration. The hoped-for G7 vision on 'Human Mobility' could have gone some way to meet this objectives, but President Trump and other leaders worked to block any agreement - for which millions of displaced families will pay the price. As the leaders fly home from Taormina they will look down on the waters that have claimed thousands of lives on the G7's watch."


Barbieri added: "Oxfam welcomes the G7's recognition that inequality represents a huge problem in the world - but concrete measures to address inequality have G7 failed to materialize at this summit, either on the domestic or the international level. How can the G7 hope to help the poorest people without a sound and inclusive action plan and without recognizing their own role in promoting the many races to the bottom that both fuel inequality worldwide and shatter the foundation of public trust in their leaders."


For more information or interviews with Oxfam spokespeople, please contact Kai Tabacek: +44 (0)7584 265077 /,uk

Blog post written by Melanie Kramers

Senior Press Officer

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