LONDON: The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, have met on Saturday in a fundamentally changed strategic and security environment. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is a watershed moment for the 21st century and carries dramatic consequences far beyond Europe. We, the G7, want to make abundantly clear that we will not sit by whilst countries flagrantly disregard the international rulebook, on which we all depend for peace, prosperity, security and stability.
We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia has blatantly violated the rules-based international order, international law and humanitarian principles and it has breached universally agreed and legally binding fundamental principles such as peaceful cooperation, sovereignty, self-determination and territorial integrity. We remain steadfast in our commitment to defend peace, human rights, the rule of law, human security and gender equality, as recognized by international law including the UN Charter and conventions, and call on our partners to join us in these efforts. Our success will depend on stronger defence, economic security, and deeper global alliances with friends and partners.
Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe. Such actions must not stand. Our planet already faces extraordinary challenges and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine undermines and reverses progress to address these challenges. On the immediate crisis, the G7 is committed to both short-and-long term-support for Ukraine. We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect.
Democratic governance and its fundamental values underpinning our societies are under attack, undermined by military force, economic coercion, information manipulation and interference, including disinformation and other hybrid means. The G7 remains convinced that democracies remain best placed in the 21st century to ensure peaceful and prosperous societies where their people can freely exercise their human rights and freedoms, and choose leaders who represent their interests. We highly prize the contribution that civil societies all over the world have made and continue to make for much needed and transformative global change.
The present and the future of this planet are at stake. Based on a strong sense of unity, we, the G7, are determined to uphold our values, defend our interests. We commit to preserve strong, vibrant and innovative societies and to uphold the rules-based international order to protect the rights of all, including the most vulnerable. We commit to engage with partners and multilaterally for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, and to increase coordination on economic security.
We are steadfast in our support for Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression and reiterate our constant call on Russia to put an end to the war it started and to end the suffering and loss of life it continues to cause. We reaffirm our position as outlined in our May 14, 2022 G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Russia’s war against Ukraine.
We condemn actions perpetrated by Russia, which compromise the safety and security of nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine and consequently pose serious risks to human life and the environment. We underline our full support for the efforts of the IAEA and its Director-General to ensure the nuclear safety and security of, and the application of safeguards to, nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine. We call on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and to return full control to legitimate Ukrainian authorities. We reiterate that the IAEA must be able to access all nuclear facilities in Ukraine safely and without any impediments.
We reaffirm our commitment to the European perspective of the six Western Balkan countries to ensure the security, stability and prosperity of the region. We welcome that the Western Balkans stand united in condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, especially in the UN General Assembly (UNGA). We commend Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia for fully aligning their foreign policies with the EU, including sanctions and their implementation. We urge Serbia to do the same. We welcome the alignment of Bosnia and Herzegovina with EU restrictive measures on Russia and unilateral alignment of Kosovo with those measures. We must continue to help Western Balkans to reduce their dependency on Russian hydrocarbons and vulnerability to economic coercion.
We strongly support the swift opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. We call upon the countries in the region to advance internal reforms, in particular on rule of law, to expand domestic political space, to improve the environment for civil society and independent media, to pursue their efforts in the prevention of radicalization to violence, to support reconciliation, and to fight against genocide disinformation, as well as the glorification of war crimes and convicted war criminals.
We are concerned about the deepening political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and condemn any attempt to undermine the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. We will not tolerate Republika Srpska’s secessionist policies, which endanger Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future and the stability in the region. We urge the return to full functionality of governments at all levels to resume their work fully, putting aside divisive and inflammatory rhetoric and avoiding any act that could destabilize Bosnia and Herzegovina. We call upon all parties in the country to ensure that general elections are held as foreseen in October. We fully support the mandates of the High Representative Christian Schmidt. We fully support the executive mandate of the EUFOR ALTHEA operation to maintain a safe and secure environment in the country. We urge Kosovo and Serbia to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated Dialogue, to fully implement all past agreements with no delay, and to normalize their relations through a comprehensive and legally binding agreement, which will allow for the realization of their respective European perspectives, contribute to regional stability and benefit all people in the region.
We reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and based on the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic principles, transparency, territorial integrity, and the peaceful and inclusive resolution of disputes. We are committed to working toward such a goal including through protecting and promoting the rules-based international order, improving regional connectivity through quality infrastructure investments, strengthening free trade, enhancing national resilience, supporting inclusive economic growth and confronting climate change and the loss of biodiversity. We express our intention to work together with like-minded countries in the region and reaffirm our support for the unity and centrality of ASEAN and commit to explore concrete cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)
We remain seriously concerned about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas. We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the rules-based international order and express serious concern about reports of militarisation, coercion and intimidation in the region. We emphasize the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and reaffirm UNCLOS’s important role in setting out the legal framework that governs all activities in the ocean and the seas. We urge all parties to resolve disputes over maritime claims through peaceful means consistent with international law, and support using the dispute settlement mechanisms established by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. We reaffirm the importance of provisions laid down by UNCLOS on freedom of navigation, the right of innocent passage in the territorial sea. We stress that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea. In this regard, we reiterate that the award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal under Annex VII to UNCLOS on 12 July 2016 is a significant milestone and a useful basis for peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea. We urge China to fully comply with the award and to respect navigational rights and freedoms enshrined in UNCLOS.
We continue to encourage China to uphold its commitments within the rules-based international order, to contribute to international security and to cooperate in advancing global health security, as well as the provision of global public goods, including on climate change, biodiversity and gender equality. We remind China of the need to uphold the principle of the UN Charter on peaceful settlement of disputes and to abstain from threats, coercion, intimidation measures or use of force.
On the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, we encourage China to support, in line with international law, the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and the integrity of its internationally recognized borders and to resolutely urge Russia to stop its military aggression against Ukraine. We call on China not to assist Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine, not to undermine sanctions imposed on Russia for its attack against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, not to justify Russian action in Ukraine, and to desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimise Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. We also support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Assembly and WHO technical meetings. The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners.
We will work together to foster global economic resilience in the face of pressure through arbitrary and coercive economic policies and practices. We encourage China to uphold its commitments to act responsibly in cyber space, including refraining from conducting or supporting cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for commercial gain.
We remain deeply concerned by the human rights situation in China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet. In line with China’s obligations under international and national law, we urge China to fully respect human rights. We urge China to complete the ratification of ILO conventions 29 and 105 and call for full implementation and for effective action against forced labour in practice. We intend to tackle instances of forced labour, including through our own available domestic means, including through raising awareness and providing advice and support for our business communities.
We urge the Chinese authorities to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang and Tibet for independent observers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her potential visit to China. We call on China to abstain from forcibly repatriating refugees to the DPRK.
We deplore the decline of pluralism and the limitation of civil and political rights in Hong Kong and call on the Hong Kong authorities to respect human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judicial system and democratic principles. We urge China to act in accordance with its international commitments and its legal obligations, including those enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms of its residents.
We are deeply concerned over developments in Afghanistan since the forceful takeover by the Taliban. We are alarmed by the systemic abuse of human rights, especially those of women and girls and members of ethnic and religious minority groups, and of the growing denial of fundamental freedoms. We remain worried about the persistent lack of political inclusivity and representative governance, the dire economic, humanitarian and social situation and the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan. We are united in our strong condemnation of the ongoing violence with recurring terrorist attacks targeting, among others, members of ethnic and religious minorities and in particular members of the Shia/Hazara community and of the terrorist threat emanating from Afghan soil for neighbouring countries and beyond.
We reassure the people of Afghanistan of our continued support to address their humanitarian and basic human needs, as demonstrated with our commitments at the High-Level Pledging Conference on 31 March. Unimpeded humanitarian access is indispensable for a swift and full distribution of humanitarian assistance consistent with humanitarian principles. The prevention of aid diversion is key for any assistance. We urgently call upon the Taliban to ensure the essential basis for long-term social, economic and political stability: with meaningful efforts towards inclusive and representative governance, rule of law and civil society; with full respect for political, social, economic, cultural and educational rights, including those of women, girls and members of minority groups; and with adherence to the commitments made in the Doha agreement and to provide safety to the people of Afghanistan.
We reiterate our request to the Taliban to urgently reverse their decision denying Afghan girls equal access to secondary education and call resolutely to revoke the recent announcement on women’s appearance in public along with new punishments for family members to enforce compliance with these restrictions, which represent further serious restrictions on fundamental freedoms for women and girls. We await swift and full implementation of their decision to ban opium cultivation, which should lead to concrete eff-orts addressing illegal drugs trafficking and financing of terrorism. We recall our ex-pectations that the Taliban allow safe passage across the borders of Afghanistan for foreign and Afghan na-tionals. We emphasise that the type and scope of our non-humanitarian engagement with Afghanistan and of our relations with the Taliban will be determined in large part by their commitments, actions and achievements on these matters and the expectations widely shared by the international community. We call upon international partners and particularly countries neighbouring Afghanistan to define their respective engagement with the Taliban on this basis. Unity of the international community is key to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
We remain determined to fight terrorism and its spread across Africa, developing a global approach, based on the respect of international law and on the political will of affected countries. Premised on the principle of African solutions for African problems, we underscore our support for continental responses to peace, security and governance challenges. The G7 remains concerned about peace, security, and humanitarian challenges in the Horn of Africa. Political instability, weak governance, armed conflicts, militias and terrorist groups as well as growing militarization of the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea threaten democratic achie-vements and economic re-forms of the recent years.
We are committed to st-rengthening non-proliferation and disarmament eff-orts for a more secure, more stable, and safer world. We endorse the Statement of the G7 Non-Proliferation Dire-ctors’ Group as published on 9 May 2022, which outlines our commitment on non-proliferation and disarmament. We are resolved to comprehensively strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, promote its universalization, re-inforce the importance of commitments made in past NPT Review Conferences and advance the NPT’s implementation across all three of its mutually reinforcing pillars. We underline the authority and primacy of the NPT as the irreplaceable cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear technology. We reiterate that a meaningful outcome at the NPT Review Conference later this year is our priority and we reaffirm our commitment to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all, achieved through concrete practical steps. More than fifty years of progress on nuclear arms control and strategic risk reduction must be continued, and the overall decline in global nuclear arsenals must be sustained and not reversed. We are resolved to promote the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). We underline the urgent need to bring this treaty into force. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call on all states that have not yet done so to declare new or maintain existing moratoriums on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. We deplore Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which has led to the suspension of the US-Russian Strategic Stability Dialogue that aimed at laying the foundation for future arms control arrangements. We condemn Russia’s unjustified use of nuclear rhetoric and signalling. We urge Russia to behave responsibly and exercise restraint. The G7 supports and encourages wider efforts towards an active arms control dialogue involving China. We welcome efforts by the G7 Nuclear Weapons States to promote effective measures that are critical towards progress on disarmament under the NPT and we underline that all Nuclear Weapons States have the responsibility to engage positively and in good faith in this regard. We commit to enhancing export controls, including through international export control regimes, on materials, technology and research that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We also intend to share our expertise to help other states counter such proliferation. We reaffirm the unique and valuable contribution of the G7-led Global Partnership (GP) against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. We will dedicate further efforts to address biological threats in the framework of the GP. We will step up efforts to counter the weaponisation of disease, notably within the 31-member GP which supports vulnerable partner countries around the globe as well as at the upcoming Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. At the Conference, we will work to strengthen implementation of the Conven-tion by promoting progress toward more effective implementation, increased transparency, and enhanced compliance and confidence-building measures. We will continue to back the United Nations Secretary-Gene-ral’s Mechanism for investigating alleged uses of che-mical or biological weap-ons. We intend to further d-eepen our cooperation with African biosecurity partners to develop and implement the GP’s Signature Initiat-ive to mitigate Biological Threats in Africa.
We commend the 20th anniversary of the GP. The G7 is committed to ensuring that the GP remains a key contributor to countering persisting and newly emerging threats posed by weapons and materials of mass destruction.
We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon. We reaffirm our support for a restoration and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). A diplomatic solution remains the best way to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme. We support continued efforts to achieve the full restoration of the JCPoA. It is high time for Iran to seize this opportunity to bring negotiations which started in Vienna more than eleven months ago to a successful conclusion. We urge Iran to refrain from further escalations of its nuclear activities. Escalations carried out over the last eighteen months are very serious developments and a matter of deep concern. They have no credible civilian requirement and have particularly grave implications.
The G7 expresses strong support for the crucial verification and monitoring mandate of the IAEA. We urge Iran to uphold and fully implement all obligations and commitments, in particular under its NPT-required safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and to provide without further delay all required information to enable the IAEA to clarify and resolve outstanding safeguards issues.
We reassert our serious concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in and around the Middle East. This includes activities related to ballistic and cruise missiles, including transfer of missile and missile technology, and transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles and conventional arms to state and non-state actors. Such weapons proliferation is destabilising for the region and escalates already high tensions. We urge Iran to cease its political and military support to proxy groups and fully abide by all relevant UNSCRs, in particular UNSCR 2231 (2015). We are deeply concerned by the continued human rights violations and abuses in Iran, including those affecting the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression. Foreign and dual nationals and hum-an rights defenders have faced arbitrary arrest, detention and lengthy prison sentences and should be rele-ased. State threats to the secure, safe, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space are of serious concern. Given that our societies are increasingly reliant on space systems for their security and prosperity, we are determined to reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation and reduce space threats. We reaffirm a shared understanding that international law applies to activities in the exploration and use of outer space. As all nations are increasingly reliant on space systems and services, the security and sustainability of the space environment is a common concern. Establishing norms, rules and principles for responsible space behaviours is a pragmatic way forward to enhance security, mitigate threats against space systems and reduce the risks of misperception, miscalculation, and escalation. We encourage all states to positively engage in the UN Open Ended Working Group that aims to build a common understanding of responsible space behaviours and consider first proposals for norms, rules, and principles in that regard. We welcome the US commitment not to conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing.
We promote the maintenance of a peaceful, safe, secure and sustainable space environment. We underscore the importance of the Long Term Sustainability Guidelines and Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. We call on others to join us in implementing these guidelines. We recognize the importance of developing common standards, best practices and guidelines related to sustainable space operations alongside the need for a collaborative approach for space traffic management and co-ordination. We call on all nations to work together, to preserve a peaceful and sustainable space environment for future generations. We reiterate our strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to the international efforts aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism, in particular our collective efforts against Daesh, Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups, which continue to pose a threat on a global scale. We stress that all counter-terrorism measures must be conducted in full compliance with international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law, as applicable. We remain committed to address the factors that can contribute to terrorism, including political and socio-economic instability, and to adopt a whole-of-government, whole-of-society and gender-responsive approach in our counter-terrorism efforts. We are committed to fostering international action and cooperation to fight terrorist financing and money laundering and call for the full implementation of the FATF standards and relevant UNSC resolutions. We recognize the need to keep investing in the prevention of radicalization to violence and countering the spread of terrorist propaganda online, including by maintaining our collective efforts within multi-stakeholder efforts such as the framework of the Christchurch Call and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. We are committed to strengthening the implementation of UNSCR 1540 by all UN member states. The upcoming comprehensive review and resolution renewal provide a unique opportunity to reiterate that 1540 remains the most important multilateral tool to prevent non-state actors from acquiring nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials.
We note with concern the rising threat posed by violent extremism or terrorism, referred to by some governments as extreme rightwing terrorism and by others as a form of racially, ethnically or other ideologically motivated violent extremism or terrorism. We call for increased engagement with relevant partners and institutions, enhanced international information sharing, and welcome efforts initiated to tackle this growing threat and its transnational dimensions. We underscore that the world drug problem is one of the major challenges facing the international community. Trafficking in drugs and precursors chemicals bolsters organized crime, has a destabilizing effect on our citizens and societies, endangers public health and can be used, in some instances, as a major source of funding terrorist activities. Against these challenges, we reaffirm our determination to reinforce our cooperation with other regions of the world in order to reduce illegal drug production and trafficking.
We express deep concern for the worsening state of food insecurity and malnutrition across the world, already exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and deteriorated by the unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, both in Ukraine and across the globe. Food prices and costs for humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance to those in greatest need are both rising, at a time when 45 million people are already one-step away from famine. This is why we have to increase humanitarian funding to humanitarian actors who are able to respond most effectively to needs. We will endeavor to provide such funding with as much flexibility as possible. But investing in res-ilient and sustainably growing economies requires ev-en more financial resources. Together with G7 Ministers of Agriculture and of Development, we will continue our close cooperation within the G7, with our partners and with relevant international organizations, especially WTO, FAO, WFP and IFAD, as well as multilateral development banks and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
We do this to respond to the impacts of the war on food security and nutrition in Ukraine and worldwide. We will continue cooperation through a G7 Action Plan building on elements of other proposals. We support the launch of a like-minded “Global Alliance on Food Security” developed in the G7 Development Track. We subscribe to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Commitments on the Global Food Security Consequences of Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine agreed on May 14, 2022. We will closely cooperate with international partners and organisations beyond the G7, with the aim of transforming political commitments into concrete actions as planned by various international initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) and key regional outreach initiatives, including towards African and Mediterranean countries with the upcoming Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Security Crisis. We will actively support the United Nations Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance proposed by the UN Secretary-General. We stand ready to work with partners beyond G7 as well as civil society and the private sector to this end and welcome the Global Food Security Call to Action Ministerial in New York on 18 May. While we need to cope with the crisis on a multilateral basis and increase production capacities, we also recognize the importance of transforming our agriculture and food systems to become sustainable in alignment with the SDGs. We want to build on international processes such as the UN Food Systems Summit and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit and reaffirm our intent to fight malnutrition in all its forms.
We are concerned by the increasing threats to our nations, economies and societies posed by hybrid tactics and strategies, including foreign information manipulation and disinformation, which aim to interfere with our democratic processes, destabilize our societies and undermine our shared values. By working together, and with partners, we will continue to enhance our capacities to recognize, assess and counter hybrid threats. We will work across the whole of government, with the private sector and our societies. In coordination with work in other relevant organizations and fora including NATO and the EU, we will continue to share best practices and develop common approaches to tackling hybrid threats.
The global economy and with it the rules-based international order is increasingly challenged by coercive policies. These include exploiting economic ties to third countries such as through trade, investment, development finance, technology and energy to pressure, induce or influence in an arbitrary, abusive or pretextual manner a foreign government’s exercise of its legitimate sovereign rights or choice. This substantial rise of geo-economic challenges to our economic security requires comprehensive and holistic responses. We remain committed to work within the multilateral system as well as with like-minded international partners to address these economic security concerns including through strengthening the global economic system by setting new standards, rules or norms in related areas in support of our shared values, particularly where critical and emerging technologies are concerned. As a driver of geopolitical competition, they represent both a source of opportunities and challenges for democracies.
We underline our dedication to harness the disruptive potential of new and emerging technologies to foster human rights and democratic values, inclusive economic growth and our common security as well as to protect an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet. We recognize the need to shape advances in technology responsibly through effective governance and will continue to strengthen international collaboration to promote and protect re-sponsible, inclusive, transparent and sustainable desi-gn, development, and use of technology that respects privacy and enables safety and security of users, in line with human rights and our common democratic values. Technology should remain neutral and not be misused or exploited for malicious activities such as unlawful surveillance and oppression. We recognize the importance of cooperation also to build resilient supply chains and strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure. We reiterate our strong support for international cooperation for the development of open, private sector-led, voluntary and consensus-based standards based on inclusive, multi-stakeholder appro-aches underpinning emerging technologies that reflect our shared values and keep pace with innovations.