G-7 leaders get to work on economy, climate change at France summit

In a photo taken on Aug 24, 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron welcome US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as they arrive for a banquet during the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France.
In a photo taken on Aug 24, 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron welcome US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as they arrive for a banquet during the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France.PHOTO: REUTERS

BIARRITZ, FRANCE (DPA) - The Group of Seven summit will start its formal working sessions on Sunday (Aug 25) as the leaders of the world's leading democratic economies focus on jobs, inequality, climate change and women's empowerment.

This year's summit will almost certainly forgo the tradition of a joint final statement, which its host, French President Emmanuel Macron, hopes will allow heads of state and governments to avoid fights over language and to sidestep clear points of disagreement.

It is already clear that the United States is at odds with Mr Macron and others over climate change, while President Donald Trump's views on international trade, including his decisions to slap tariffs on foes and allies alike, has ruffled feathers with his closest partners.

For better or worse, bilateral sessions between the world leaders will likely be the highlights of the G-7 summit.

Mr Trump is scheduled to hold a face-to-face session with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, their first as leaders, just before the opening session on Sunday, with a post-Brexit trade deal in focus.

The first working group will then look at the international economy, trade and security.

Over lunch, the presidents, prime ministers and leaders of international organisations in attendance are expected to discuss global inequality.

 

Nobel Peace Prize winners Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad will then present on gender equality issues.

As the day winds to a close, Africa will take centre stage, with leaders from the continent in attendance. The issues in the Sahel region of Africa, long plagued by extremist groups, will receive special attention.