The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union (EU) met today with their counterparts from Kenya and Ghana as well as the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission. They exchanged views on global challenges such as increasing food and energy insecurity, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health threats as well as the need for promoting inclusive and sustainable growth, infrastructure and for strengthening democratic resilience. They also discussed regional topics on the African continent such as the situation in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Great Lakes region.
In her capacity as Chair of the G7 Foreign Minister’s Meeting, Minister Baerbock recalled the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement adopted on 4 November 2022 in Münster. She expressed the G7 members’ commitment to intensify cooperation with African partners on global priorities and underscored the importance of working together to champion the UN Charter’s principles, including the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states. She called for renewed commitment towards realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement, the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and its Sustainable Development Goals.
In their discussion of regional topics on the African continent, the participants exchanged views on the challenges for peace, security and humanitarian assistance as well as food insecurity and the impact of climate change in the Horn of Africa. On northern Ethiopia, the G7-Chair welcomed the cessation of hostilities agreed by the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front under the auspices of the AU, Kenya and South Africa. Coordinated international support for the implementation of the peace agreement and for Ethiopia’s recovery from conflict are crucial now. She underlined the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach those in previously inaccessible areas in northern Ethiopia. The participants further exchanged views on Somalia. Minister Baerbock reaffirmed the need for the international community to support Somalia in strengthening its national security. In this respect, she emphasized the importance of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia. On Sudan, they discussed the transition process towards peace and democracy and exchanged views on the military’s promise to withdraw from politics and the efforts of the UN, AU, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The participants further discussed the deteriorating political, security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel. The G7 Chair called for the timely preparation of free and fair elections in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Chad in order to ensure durable returns to constitutional rule, which are critical for long-term stability and security. She reaffirmed the G7 members’ support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU in this regard. She also underlined the concern of the G7 over the growing presence of Russian and Russia-affiliated security forces in Mali and elsewhere on the continent and called for accountability for all those responsible for human rights violations or abuses. The participants further discussed the ongoing, escalating violence and conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as tensions in the broader Great Lakes region. Minister Baerbock called upon all non-state armed groups in the region to cease their activity and pursue their goals via peaceful means. She urged all involved to act in good faith and according to international law, including through respecting the territorial integrity of the states of the region.
Regarding current global challenges, the G7 Chair reiterated the G7 condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. She recalled the resolutions of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) of 27 March 2014, 2 March 2022, and 12 October 2022. Ministers, the High Representative and the Deputy Chairperson discussed global food security and nutrition and the rising number of people globally affected by food insecurity. Minister Baerbock underlined the importance of a continued implementation of the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which has been key to stabilizing global grain prices. Regarding Africa, she underlined the need to support, among others, the African Union's Year of Nutrition and Food Security and its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program. She recalled humanitarian food and nutrition assistance by the international community, including G7 members, to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and malnutrition and underscored the importance of continuing such efforts. She further reiterated that G7 sanctions in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine do not target exports of Russian food, agricultural products, or fertilizers to third countries.
Ministers, the High Representative and the Deputy Chairperson further discussed the global energy supply disruptions exacerbated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, particularly energy access for vulnerable groups. Minister Baerbock underlined the G7 commitment to work together in order to ensure energy security by bolstering efficiency, stability and transparency in energy markets, and to expedite the global energy transition, taking into account needs of African countries. The participants also discussed current economic and financial challenges for the most vulnerable states, especially in Africa. The G7-Chair called on all creditors and debtors to jointly work towards solutions with partners bilaterally, as well as in multilateral fora, and recalled the importance of accelerating the implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in this regard.
Ministers, the High Representative and the Deputy Chairperson discussed the accelerating climate crisis, threatening the very existence of humanity. Minister Baerbock reaffirmed the belief of the G7 in international solidarity and the need to mitigate and overcome this existential, human-made threat. She recalled the G7 members’ commitment to investing in quality infrastructure in Africa based in particular on the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, including through the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, as well as other flagship projects. In the context of the discussion about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the G7 Chair welcomed progress in implementing the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Action Plan on COVID-19 and reiterated the G7 commitment to support local vaccination campaigns (“Last Mile”) to enable equitable access to vaccines and increase vaccination coverage. She also reaffirmed the G7 commitment to strengthen regional manufacturing capacities for vaccines and other essential medical products supported by sustainable markets, and welcomed the Vaccine Alliance GAVI’s proposal for a “market shaping strategy” to be further developed in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.
The participants also touched upon the topic of democratic resilience and disinformation. Here, the G7 Chair noted with concern that systematic information manipulation and interference, including disinformation campaigns and hate speech-fueled threats, increasingly affect democracies in the G7 and in Africa.
Concluding, Minister Baerbock underlined the need to stand united with all nations committed to uphold the United Nations Charter which provides a foundation for peace and security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the peaceful resolution of disputes, non-aggression, respect for human rights, rule of law, human security, development, and gender equality.