Written by 12:25 World

G7 Leaders, Expanding the Circle, Shift Focus to Migration and the South

The Group of 7 countries threw open the doors of their club on Friday to India, Brazil, Turkey and other non-Western countries, acknowledging a shifting global landscape as they tried to enlist these nations’ leaders in causes ranging from climate change to managing the economic competition with China.

While diplomats from the Group of 7 hammered out a communiqué that pledged support for Ukraine in its war against Russia and greater ambition in curbing carbon emissions, the focus was on Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and other leaders from outside the G7, whose support is increasingly critical to achieving any of these goals.

Among the thorny questions on the second day of the summit: migration, which has helped fuel a recent resurgence of populism and far-right parties in Europe and the United States. The leaders also discussed the war in Gaza and China’s state subsidies of industries like electric vehicles, which has prompted the United States and the European Union to impose tariffs on Chinese exports.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy, who is hosting the gathering, said the goal of her expanded guest list was to “strengthen dialogue with the nations of the Global South.” She insisted that the Group of 7 was “not a fortress closed in itself” but “an offer of values that we open to the world.”

Ms. Meloni recruited Pope Francis to speak to the leaders about the dangers posed by artificial intelligence. Francis urged them to regulate the technology, of which he was himself a victim when A.I.-generated fake images of him clad in a white puffer jacket and a jewel-encrusted crucifix went viral last year.

“The benefits and the damages it causes will depend on the way it is used,” the pope declared, warning of the risks of A.I.’s uncontrolled development. He called for lethal autonomous weapons, which are unmanned and uncontrolled by a human hand, to be banned, saying, “No machine should ever decide whether to take the life of a human being away.”

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Last modified: 15 June 2024
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