On May 21, the final day of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, Civil7 (C7), one of the official Engagement Groups of the G7, held a press conference at the Hiroshima City Youth Center. The C7 evaluated the outcomes of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, including the G7 Leaders’ Declaration and related statements released on May 20, and rated the six Working Group issues and the summit as a whole using a five-point scale: “downpour” (most disappointing), “rainy,” “cloudy,” “cloudy with a chance of sun,” and “sunny” (most satisfied).
The six Working Group issues and overall ratings are as follows: “Nuclear Disarmament” – rainy; “Climate and Environmental Justice” – cloudy; “Economic Justice and Transformation” – downpour; “Global Health” – rainy; “Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict” – cloudy; and “Open and Resilient Societies” – downpour. The evaluation “as a citizen of Hiroshima” was cloudy with a chance of sun, and the “overall summary” was rainy with hope for sunny in the future.
Five levels of evaluation: “downpour,” “rainy,” “cloudy,” “cloudy with a chance of sun,” and “sunny.”
C7 Nuclear Disarmament Working Group: Rainy (2 points out of 5)
(Akira Kawasaki, Peace Boat)
The G7 Communiqué does not call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The communiqué only makes excuses for not advancing nuclear disarmament, saying that a world without nuclear weapons is the “ultimate goal” and that a “realistic,” “practical,” and “responsible” approach should be taken, ensuring “undiminished security for all”.
The Civil 7 recommended starting negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons within a set time frame, but the G7 leaders have shown no such attitude.
In their statement on nuclear disarmament, they condemn Russia’s nuclear threats but justify their own nuclear weapons saying that those are for “defensive” and “deterrence” purposes. What exactly did the G7 leaders feel when they visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and met with HIbakusha? I must say with regret that this city that experienced the nuclear catastrophe has been disgraced by senseless leaders who affirm nuclear weapons.
C7 Climate and Environmental Justice Working Group: Cloudy (3 points out of 5)
(Risa Endo, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES))
(1) It is urgently necessary to strengthen adaptation and Loss & Damage measures for those who are disproportionately affected by climate change, and it is important that the G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communiqué includes the following:
- Continuing to scale up and enhance support to strengthen the resilience of climate-vulnerable groups through enhancing climate change adaptation and climate disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, and early-warning systems
- Scaling up action and support to avert, minimize and address Loss & Damage, especially for the most vulnerable countries
- Implementing the UNFCCC-COP27/CMA4 decision on Loss & Damage to establish new funding arrangements, including a fund for developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change
- Continuing to accelerate efforts to respond to the Glasgow Climate Pact that urges developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from the 2019-level by 2025
(2)About one-third of global GHG emissions are from sources other than energy-derived CO2 emissions and it is urgently necessary to reduce other GHG emissions, together with the reduction of energy-derived CO2. emissions. Regarding enhancing the ambition and submission of NDCs, “including all GHGs” is mentioned. In addition, it is also stated that the G7 reaffirms its commitment to the Global Methane Pledge and steps up efforts to collectively reduce global anthropogenic methane emissions.
(3)Although the support of developing countries just energy transitions and global extensions of renewable energy are included, some statements about energy such as fossil fuels are far from the outcomes recommended by our Working Group members.
C7 Economic Justice and Transformation Working Group: Downpour (1 point out of 5)
(Shoko Uchida, Pacific Asia Resource Center)
Overall, the emphasis is on “economic security” set from the perspective of the G7, rather than on solving the problems faced by developing countries, and although the text calls for “cooperation,” in reality, it is fraught with the danger of bringing division and blocs to the world.
(1) Debt: There are no concrete commitments by the G7, only “expectations for the G20” regarding a “common framework” for debt restructuring and improving the accuracy of debt data. In particular, “enforcement of binding national laws to allow private creditors to participate in the multilateral debt restructuring process,” “multilateral negotiations at the UN,” and “debt cancellation” are not considered.
(2) Economic Security: The goal is to decouple the supply chain of strategic goods and mineral resources such as semiconductors from China while incorporating the “Global South,” assuming China is a “market-distorting actor,” “malicious actor,” and so on. Such decoupling, however, will further impose environmental and social burdens, especially on developing countries.
(3) Business and Human Rights: The stance on initiatives referring to international standards such as the “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)” has weakened, and there is no mention of the need for mandatory human rights due diligence measures that were in place until last year.
C7 Global Health Working Group: Rainy (2 points out of 5)
(Masaki Inaba, Africa Japan Forum)
The G7 global health process carried great expectations and efforts by many people to fully prepare for a new pandemic beyond Covid-19. However, it is unfortunate that it ended with disappointing results; one, because time has run out, and two, because of the limits and restrictions that Japan has as a country.
With regard to pandemic preparedness, a major weakness was the inability to address intellectual property rights which is one of the main causes of disparities, and mechanisms that should aim for equal access to medicine have become dependent on (industry’s) self-motivations. There is a necessity to transition from monopoly to sharing, from competition to cooperation, however, the Hiroshima Summit has missed their crucial opportunity.
Although other issues were comprehensively covered, the most important demands to the G7, namely their financial and technological contributions, were not addressed, and the majority of the communique included orders to other platforms and re-statements of previous commitments. I sincerely hope for a world-oriented G7, rather than one that is preoccupied with domestic affairs.
C7 Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict Working Group: Cloudy (3 points out of 5)
(Yuko Shibata, Japan Platform)
The $21 billion pledge of support for humanitarian crises, including the food crisis, is highly commendable, as it is essential for responding to the growing humanitarian crisis. We also welcome the reference to the importance of educational opportunities and support for funds and UN agencies that cannot put education on the back burner, as well as the inclusion of efforts for disaster prevention and mitigation in line with the Sendai Framework and the strengthening of proactive actions.
Overall, many of the issues that the Working Group has recommended, though mentioned, lack specificity, with no clear commitment other than the $21 billion pledged. In addition, there is no mention of “strengthening local officials and local leadership,” which is essential to the implementation of humanitarian assistance. We strongly hope that this will lead to concrete policies on how to ensure access to humanitarian assistance and protection, in order to make progress in addressing serious humanitarian assistance system challenges.
C7 Open and Resilient Societies Working Group: Downpour (1 point out of 5)
(Hirotaka Koike, Greenpeace Japan)
G7’s failure to show a strong commitment to civic space and open society is proof of double standards – claiming to promote the rule of law and democracy on the one hand and, on the other hand, providing little to no commitment to improving the dire situation of shrinking civic space, increased limitation to freedom of expression and of academia, and imprisonment of whistleblowers. While Japan had an opportunity to simply issue similar statements to at least show its commitment to open and resilient democracies, like Elmau and Cornwall summits, they did not show any political will to address these issues. Where democracy was concerned, although the importance of democracy was noted, the discussion was mostly about information warfare with other countries, which neglects its own control and limits on freedom of expression happening within G7. On migration, this is a human-rights-violating paragraph. Almost half of it is about irregular migrants and organised crime, without suggesting any ways to improve the harsh conditions migrants are currently in. There has been no improvement in civic engagement in the International Media Centre, and NGOs have been pushed out and even the NGO activity schedule board at the IMC has been taken down. The summit statement states that the G7 is “committed to listening to and supporting civil society organisations.” We look forward to G7 walking the talk.
G7 Hiroshima Summit Seen from the Perspective of Civil Society in Hiroshima: Cloudy With a Chance of Sun (4 out of 5)
(Hiroki Matsubara, Hiroshima NPO Center)
As a citizen of Hiroshima, I feel that holding the G7 Summit in Hiroshima was of great significance. In this sense, I would like to show my gratitude to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who has served as the G7 President – it can be valued that the visit to the Peace Memorial Park of G7 leaders including nuclear power was realized. I am also grateful for my fellow civil society members, citizens of Hiroshima who have worked together, the media who brought our voice to the governments and to the world, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who supported our activities.
I do not believe that anyone knows exactly what the proper outcome of the G7 Summit is. However, from the perspective of civil society, I believe that every one of us did have something to learn and realize through the G7 Hiroshima Summit. In other words, it was a precious opportunity for us to learn about international social issues and diversity.
As a member of the C7 Steering Committee, I strongly insist that civil society has something that we only can do to resolve. It bears great importance that those involved in politics and civil societies cooperate with each other. With such a background, nevertheless, the latest G7 Leaders’ Declaration seemed only for politics and excludes civil society. Honestly speaking, I cannot help but think for what purpose and outcome the G7 Summit is being held, if the citizens’ voice is not heard.
After the Summit is over, as a citizen of Hiroshima and as a member of an NGO, I will be continuously working towards the realization of a world without nuclear weapons and a sustainable society, together with civil society all across the globe.
Summary: Evaluation: Rain (Hopefully sunny, at least cloudy)
(Mariko Kinai, World Vision Japan)
The six C7 Working Groups gave poor ratings to the G7 summit declaration. While the specific reasons for this differ from one Working Group to another, the overall assessment is “2” (rain) on a scale of 5 and we have to say that the summit declaration does not adequately nor sufficiently reflect the perspectives of citizens. The role of the C7 along with other engagement groups is to provide perspectives that the ‘G’ (governments) do not have. C7, as has been doing so far, is continuously asking whether the policies of the seven countries will truly lead to the realization of the ‘society where no one is left behind’ that the SDGs aim to achieve. By expanding and deepening this continuous engagement process, we hope that our weather forecast will turn from “rainy” to “sunny”, or at least become cloudy.
The full text of the C7 Communiqué is available from
About the C7
The G7 has its official Engagement Groups, which engage in policy dialogue and make recommendations to influence the G7 outcome document on areas of interest. The Civil7 (C7) is one of these Engagement Groups and is organized by civil society. Each year, civil society in the presiding country, in collaboration with civil society not only from G7 countries but also from G20 countries and the Global South, formulates and disseminates recommendations to the G7. For more information, please visit the C7 website (in English): https://civil7.org/
About Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7 2023
The Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7 2023 is a platform to encourage the G7 governments to ensure that the G7 Leaders’ Summit and related ministerial meetings to be held in Hiroshima in 2023 reflect the voices of civil society and to contribute to the realization of the 2030 Agenda. For more information on the coalition, please visit the following:
- Japan Civil Society Coalition on G7 2023 website: https://g7-cso-coalition-japan-2023.mystrikingly.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/g7cso2023
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/g7cso2023