Q1/2020 - G7 Presidency of the United States

G7 Summit in Camp David Cancelled, 10 to 12 June, Camp David

The G7 Presidency of the USA has been caught in the whirl of the corona crisis. On 19 March 2020, Larry Kudlow, the so-called “Sherpa” responsible for the G7 Summit in the White House, informed that US President Donald Trump had decided to cancel the G7 Summit scheduled at Camp David for 10 to 12 June 2020[1]. Instead of the meeting in June, monthly video conferences shall be held between the seven heads of state and government. A first video conference took place on 15 March 2020 already. The focal issue was the corona crisis and how to handle it. It remains to be seen, if topics such as cyber security, digital economy, human rights in the digital age or artificial intelligence will be on the agenda at the future video meetings.

G7 Foreign Ministers‘ Meeting by Video-conference, 25 March 2020

On 25 March 2020, the first virtual G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting ever took place. The conference had originally been planned to be held at Pittsburgh. The main topic at the 4-hour video conference was how to face the challenges of the corona crisis. There was no joint closing statement. But the ministers underpinned the need for providing comprehensive and true information and condemned disinformation campaigns and the dissemination of fake news via the Internet. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Chinese Communist Party of having kept the world in the dark for a long time about the extent of the crisis. Pompeo called the virus “Wuhan virus”[2]. This term was not used by the other six foreign ministers. The video conference also addressed international crises, such as Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Iran. Cyber security or the digital economy were not a discussion topic.

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  1. [2] G7 Foreign Minister Meeting, Remarks to the Media by Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, Washington DC, 25. März, 2020“ First, we spent a substantial amount of time on threats posed by authoritarian states. The Chinese Communist Party poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus outbreak clearly has demonstrated. The CCP also threatens to undermine the free and open order that has underpinned our mutual prosperity and safety in the G7 countries. I urged every one of the countries to work together to protect the UN and other organizations from its malign influence and authoritarianism. We G7 countries must promote our shared values of freedom, sovereignty, good governance, transparency, and accountability, and push the UN to uphold these principles as well“, in: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/foreign/200325-pompeo.html