The G7 are willing to live up to their responsibility vis-à-vis the developing world

Info graphic showing the outcomes of the G7 Summit in Elmau in June 2015

Info graphic showing the outcomes of the G7 Summit in Elmau in June 2015

© BMZ

The outcome of the Elmau summit shows that the world's seven largest industrialised nations are willing to live up to their responsibility vis-à-vis the developing world. Many of the decisions negotiated under Germany's Presidency are concerned with development policy. The BMZ has helped draft these G7 initiatives – to help the poorest and foster a conducive environment.

The G7 are sending positive signals for the crucial UN conferences on financing for development in July, on sustainable development in September, and on a climate agreement in December. Reference is made to the commitment to provide 0.7 per cent of GDP for development cooperation, and the G7 have emphasised their special responsibility vis-à-vis the least developed countries.

We want to assist people in places where climate change is putting a brake on development. By 2020, the new climate insurance initiative launched by the G7 will give up to 400 million more people in the most vulnerable developing countries protection against severe impacts of climate change that could threaten their livelihoods, such as flood damage and lost harvests. This idea was sparked by the BMZ, which will implement the initiative. One important outcome of our dialogue with African partners is the new initiative of the African Union and the G7: by 2020, an extra 10 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity is to be installed in Africa. This is equivalent to the capacity of ten large coal-fired power stations. The G7 have stated clearly that they are committed to the climate finance goal of an annual 100 billion US dollars from 2020. Incidentally, 90 per cent of the more than two billion euros provided by Germany in international climate finance in 2013 came from the BMZ!

Our clothing is made by the poorest people, often under often appalling working conditions. Minister Müller has therefore lobbied successfully to get the enforcement of global labour, social and environmental standards on the G7 agenda for the first time in Elmau. The G7 have agreed that alliances like the one initiated by the BMZ for sustainable textiles will also be launched in other G7 countries. There will also be greater transparency for consumers. And, in the G7, we will support producer countries in enforcing better working conditions.

At the initiative of the BMZ, the German government proposed a campaign against hunger and malnutrition to its G7 partners. And the proposal has been taken up! The G7 have announced that, working in cooperation with their partners, they aim to lift 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. This is a signal that we, the strongest economies of the world, are living up to our responsibility for the poorest. There is a separate annex that outlines ways of achieving this goal: sustainable agriculture, support for malnourished women and children, and targeted assistance for hungry people in crisis and conflict settings.

Drawing a lesson from the Ebola crisis, the G7 have made a commitment to strengthen health systems and crisis response mechanisms in 60 partner countries. More research into neglected tropical diseases is another endeavour that will translate into direct benefits for people in our partner countries. In January, we saw the successful replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, under Germany's G7 Presidency. Immunisation saves lives!

But the G7 are also addressing another vital aspect. We want to enable far more women and girls in developing countries to benefit from technical and vocational education and training, and we want to improve the employment situation of women. There can be no sustainable development without empowered women!

Not least, the BMZ has helped to further develop the G7 Deauville partnership with North Africa and the Middle East and ensure that financial resources will be used in an even more efficient and results-oriented manner in future. In this period of conflict in Syria and activities by the IS, it is particularly important to lend active support to the region.

Under the CONNEX Initiative, we have helped in providing developing countries that have large reserves of mineral resources with even better and more targeted advice, and in levelling the playing field for negotiations between developing countries and multinational corporations.

The annual accountability reports published by the G7 show that the group implements its decisions and honours its commitments. Together with its G7 partners, the BMZ helped draw up this year's progress report on what the G7 have done to protect biodiversity on our planet. This, too, will lend momentum to the UN climate summit later this year. Next year under Japan's Presidency, the comprehensive accountability report that is put together every three years and provides a status update on all active G7 commitments will again be drawn up and published.

On the second day of the Elmau summit, the heads of state and government of Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia and the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union were invited to an outreach meeting for an in-depth dialogue on global policy issues, Africa, and the development initiatives of the G7. In that way, our partners were also able to have their perspectives reflected in the summit debates.