G7 leaders commit to tackling global challenges

24 May 2023 | Muriel Cozier

‘We will work together to forge a new generation of scientists and experts across industry, government, academia […]’

The G7 Summit held in Hiroshima City, Japan, concluded with the leaders ‘more united than ever in our determination to meet global challenges’, according to the post-summit Leaders’ Comminiqué.

Across three days, the six main areas of discussion included food security and health; climate change, energy and environment; and sustainable development.

The impact of AI was also part of the discussions and as the Summit concluded, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘AI can bring huge benefits for our economy, society, and public services. But of course, it needs to be developed safely, securely and fairly. And that will require international cooperation, something the UK is in a natural position to lead.’

Ahead of the Summit, G7 Science and Technology Ministers, along with the G7 Health Ministers concluded separate meetings in Japan, with both groups committing to support openness and collaboration in their respective sectors.

Meeting in Sendai, the G7 Science and Technology Ministers used their communiqué to reaffirm the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and development, and the importance of collaboration and effective science communication.

‘We will work together to forge a new generation of scientists and experts across industry, government, academia, and civic groups who can raise public awareness of the crucial role of STEM education in shaping our future,’ they said.

The Ministers also set out several initiatives that they said would allow the management of new technologies. ‘Technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum technology, biotechnology, and fusion, and other clean technologies are central to the green and digital transition as well as to economic and national security. With this in mind and in line with regulatory and non-regulatory frameworks and technical standards, we will pursue initiatives to realise an open and evolutionary research system based on trust.’

Meanwhile, at its meeting in Nagasaki, G7 Health Ministers used their Communiqué to stress the need for a strengthening of global health architecture drawing on lessons from the pandemic.

‘The world faced challenges throughout the pandemic including those related to R&D, manufacturing, and access and delivery of medical countermeasures, as well as large secondary tolls on health systems including primary health care, health outcomes and economies,’ the Ministers said.

Beyond the pandemic, the G7 Health Ministers called for the promotion of initiatives to address various health challenges. ‘To solve current and future health challenges, stakeholders from all sectors, including industry, finance, academia, civil society, and government, should work together, for example, through public -private partnerships. We will explore possibilities for how we can promote health innovation such as international R&D cooperation on safe, effective, and affordable medical countermeasures.’

The Ministers also called for: ‘Sharing of scientific evidence in a timely and transparent manner especially for strengthening public health institutions and their networks.’

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