Canada hopes G7 sum­mit to be spring­board for new ideas

The Freeman - - WORLD -

OT­TAWA — Canada hopes the up­com­ing G7 sum­mit it is host­ing will serve as a spring­board for fresh ideas on key is­sues in­clud­ing cli­mate change, the global econ­omy and se­cu­rity, the lead or­ga­nizer told AFP.

"The G7 serves well as a prov­ing or test­ing ground for dis­cus­sions that could even­tu­ally go into the G20 or the United Na­tions or in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions," Peter Boehm, Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau's G7 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, said in an in­ter­view with AFP.

"The beauty of these sum­mits is that there is in­for­mal di­a­logue be­tween lead­ers," said Boehm, who has par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral past sum­mits.

Canada as­sumed the G7 pres­i­dency at the start of Jan­uary and will host the lead­ers of Britain, France, Ger­many, Italy, Ja­pan and the United States in the pic­turesque re­sort vil­lage of La Mal­baie on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River from June 8-9.

The agenda for the 44th Group of Seven in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions sum­mit in­cludes ad­vanc­ing gen­der equal­ity and women's em­pow­er­ment, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Paris cli­mate agree­ment, and the global econ­omy.

Boehm said the dis­cus­sion on cli­mate change will "in­evitably in­clude en­ergy and re­new­able forms of en­ergy" and "more broadly the re­silience of coastal com­mu­ni­ties."

"We've seen a very bad hur­ri­cane sea­son," he noted. "Many of the is­lands af­fected by these ter­ri­ble hur­ri­canes have lost their tourism economies." Pro­tec­tion­ism and trade ten­sions be­tween the ma­jor pow­ers will also be a hot topic, Boehm said.

US President Don­ald Trump's de­ci­sion to with­draw from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) trade agree­ment and his in­sis­tence on rene­go­ti­at­ing the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) are likely to come up again, af­ter fu­el­ing ten­sions at the last sum­mit in Italy.

And the topic of gen­der equal­ity will thread through the en­tire sum­mit, af­ter al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and abuse against now-dis­graced Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein prompted hun­dreds of women to speak out on sex­ual mis­con­duct by pow­er­ful men.

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