Global Affairs

The remarkable revival of the G-7

Recently scorned as a club of the rich and decreasingly powerful, the grouping has a second chance at relevance as a platform for democracies' interests

Oxfam activists depicting G-7 leaders fighting over a Covid-19 vaccine yesterday, at a protest on a beach near Falmouth, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, in Cornwall, England. The G-7 is now seen as representative of a bigger project: that of proj
Oxfam activists depicting G-7 leaders fighting over a Covid-19 vaccine yesterday, at a protest on a beach near Falmouth, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, in Cornwall, England. The G-7 is now seen as representative of a bigger project: that of projecting a confident and united West, says the writer.PHOTO: REUTERS

An exclusive club of the rich and decreasingly powerful: that's how the so-called G-7 is usually perceived.

And with some justification. For it is a snapshot of the world we knew half a century ago, rather than the one we inhabit today. Not less than four out of its seven members are European: France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Only one Asian nation is a member, and it happens to be Japan, the one Asian country whose economy, although big, is shrinking. No voice for Africa. Canada and the United States are the only representatives for all the Americas.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'The remarkable revival of the G-7'. Subscribe