Member area

G7 focuses on threats to peace and security, neglects social justice and inequalities

18 June 2024

The G7 Leaders Communique, agreed at the Summit in Italy, focuses on current threats to global peace and security, but fails to make the link between peace and social justice. It fails to follow up adequately on G7 commitments made last year on the cost of living and wages, or to deal properly with migration and climate change. It does contain significant commitments to manage artificial intelligence.

“It is regrettable that the G7 Leaders’ communique does not address environmental justice and economic and social inequalities as among the most urgent challenges of our times” said Veronica Nilsson, General Secretary of TUAC. “The Leaders’ were worryingly imprecise and lacking vision and ambition on climate action and the need for a just transition.”

“Lasting peace and security can only be based on social justice. Reaffirming their commitment to ‘social progress’, G7 Leaders did not follow up on their previous commitments on development co-operation and climate finance. They also neglected any further action on the commitments they made last year on the cost of living and wages, the role of collective bargaining or the need to invest in a green and just transition.”

— Veronica Nilsson, TUAC General Secretary

The G7 Leaders communiqué lacks ambition and any concrete commitment to reduce inequalities, with no reference to taxation of windfall profits and the establishment of a financial transaction tax.

On labour and employment, the Communique is weak, especially in light of the commitments made at last year’s Hiroshima Summit to foster decent work and ensure real-wage growth through collective bargaining. While not mentioning the cost-of-living crisis, the G7 communique does say that Leaders “will continue promoting job quality and decent work as well as the fundamental principles and rights at work ..  underlining the important role of social dialogue and collective bargaining .. We commit to ensure full respect of international labor standards and human rights .. including in global value chains, in particular the fundamental conventions adopted by the ILO.” But this is not accompanied by any specific action.

On artificial intelligence, the G7 Leaders committed to “work to ensure that AI enables increased productivity, quality jobs, and decent work; empowers workers; fosters inclusiveness and equal opportunities … including by fostering dialogue and transparency with workers organizations. To achieve these goals, we will launch an action plan on the use of AI in the world of work. We ask our Labor Ministers to develop the action plan, envisaging concrete actions .. to enable decent work and workers’ rights ..”

Trade unions will follow up this commitment at the G7 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Cagliari on 11-13 September, to ensure that unions are fully involved in drawing up the action plan.

“It is good that G7 Leaders recognise that social dialogue is needed to ensure that AI promotes decent work and respects workers’ rights. Unions must now be fully involved with the G7, and in the ILO and OECD, in monitoring, regulating and managing the impacts of AI.”

— Veronica Nilsson, TUAC General Secretary.

G7 Leaders agreed to launch a new coalition to prevent and counter the smuggling of migrants, but the Communiqué does not offer a comprehensive strategy that would help address migration in a sustainable manner in line with international standards. Most importantly, beyond the reaffirmation of principles, Leaders made no concrete commitment to ensure “full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, regardless of their migratory status” and to guarantee “the right of everyone to seek asylum from persecution as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

The G7 Leaders communiqué is also dangerously weak on gender equality, as well as on sexual and reproductive rights. Leaders did not include a clause guaranteeing safe and legal access to abortion health care, in line with commitments made by the G7 last year in Japan, and adopted a weaker language on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Removing such language from the text is a dangerous step backwards.