Here's what global civil society wants to see from the G-7

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts a meeting of G-7 leaders via videoconference. Photo by: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street / CC BY-NC-ND

Civil society organizations from around the globe have published their demands for world leaders to consider at June’s summit of the G-7 group of leading industrial nations.

In a communiqué, campaigners from over 200 organizations worldwide call on leaders to use the COVID-19 pandemic recovery to pursue systemic change. Here is an outline of their requests:

A sustainable post-pandemic economic recovery. The campaigners call for G-7 climate finance commitments to prioritize the countries most vulnerable to climate change and for reform of the World Trade Organization. NGOs also call for a Global Fund for Social Protection.

Protecting the planet. Achieving 50% of climate finance for adaptation — as opposed to mitigation — that focuses on the most vulnerable countries is identified as a priority. All G-7 countries should end fossil fuel investments abroad, and they should phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, according to the communiqué. G-7 members are asked to sign the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and introduce due diligence measures to avoid funding deforestation.

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"We can't leave it to business to provide enough supply for the whole world," says the UNAIDS chief, who has been a vocal proponent for a people's vaccine for COVID-19.

Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Sharing vaccine technology is expected to be high on the agenda in June. The communiqué calls on G-7 governments to allow a waiver for parts of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, thereby overriding intellectual property restrictions. Campaigners also want more funding to fill gaps in the budgets of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, which needs $19 billion for 2021, and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative, which needs $2 billion.

Globally, they want to see 60% of each country’s population offered a vaccine by the end of 2021.

Promoting open societies. Here, the requests are more vague. The campaigners call for “stronger messages of solidarity,” alongside diplomatic and financial support for civil society.

Racial justice. NGOs call on world leaders to issue an explanation of how they will “address each nation's historic role perpetuating racial injustice.” To begin “correcting” historical wrongs, the campaigners call for doubling G-7 aid to the global south and a review of aid procurement rules.

About the author

  • William Worley

    William Worley is the U.K. Correspondent for Devex, covering DFID and British aid. Previously, he reported on international affairs, policy, and development. He also worked as a reporter for the U.K. national press, including the Times, Guardian, Independent, and i Paper. His reportage has included work on the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, drought in Madagascar, the "migrant caravan" in Mexico, and Colombia’s peace process. He can be reached at william.worley@devex.com.