Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in her capacity as Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting

The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union (EU) met today with their counterparts from Kenya and Ghana as well as the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission. They exchanged views on World challenges such as growing food and energy insecurity, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health threats, as well as the need to promote inclusive and sustainable growth, infrastructure and build democratic resilience. They also discussed regional topics on the African continent such as the situation in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Great Lakes region.

As Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Minister Baerbock recalled the declaration of the G7 foreign ministers adopted on 4 November 2022 in Munster. She voiced the members of the G7 commitment to intensify cooperation with African partners on global priorities and stressed the importance of working together to champion the UN principles of the Charter, including the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all Member States. She called for a renewed commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) and its Sustainable Development Goals.

In their discussion of regional topics on the African continent, the participants discussed the challenges for peace, security and humanitarian aid as well as food insecurity and the impact of climate change in the Horn of Africa. On northern ethiopiathe G7 President welcomed the cessation of hostilities agreed by the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front under the auspices of the AU, Kenya and South Africa. Coordinated international support for the implementation of the peace agreement and for Ethiopia’s post-conflict recovery is now crucial. She highlighted the urgent need for humanitarian assistance to reach those in previously inaccessible areas of northern Ethiopia. The participants then proceeded to an exchange of views on Somalia. Minister Baerbock reaffirmed the need for the international community to help Somalia strengthen its national security. In this regard, she stressed the importance of AU Transition Mission in Somalia. On Sudanthey discussed the process of transition to peace and democracy and exchanged on the promise of the military to withdraw from politics and on the efforts of the UN, AUand the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Participants then discussed the deterioration of the political, security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel. The G7 President called for the timely preparation of free and fair elections in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Chad to ensure a lasting return to constitutional order, which is essential for stability and long-term security. She reaffirmed the support of the G7 members for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU in this regard. She also underlined the concern of the G7 over the growing presence of Russian and Russian-affiliated security forces in Mali and elsewhere on the continent and called for the accountability of all those responsible for human rights violations or abuses. Participants then discussed the escalation of violence and ongoing conflicts in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congoas well as tensions in the broad sense Great Lakes region. Minister Baerbock called on all non-state armed groups in the region to cease their activities and pursue their objectives through peaceful means. She urged all parties concerned to act in good faith and in accordance with international law, including respecting the territorial integrity of States in the region.

About the current World challengesthe president of the G7 reiterated the condemnation of the G7 Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. She recalled the resolutions of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) of 27 March 2014, 2 March 2022 and 12 October 2022. The ministers, the high representative and the vice-president discussed the food safety and nutrition and the growing number of people around the world affected by food insecurity. Minister Baerbock stressed the importance of continued implementation of the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which has played a key role in stabilizing world grain prices. On Africa, she highlighted the need to support, inter alia, the African Union’s Year of Nutrition and Food Security and its Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme. She recalled the humanitarian food and nutrition assistance provided by the international community, including G7 members, to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and malnutrition and stressed the importance of continuing these efforts. She further reiterated that the G7 sanctions in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine do not target exports of Russian food, agricultural or fertilizer products to third countries.

Ministers, the High Representative and the Vice-President continued to examine the global energy supply disruption exacerbated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, including access to energy for vulnerable groups. Minister Baerbock underlined the G7’s commitment to work together to ensure energy security by enhancing the efficiency, stability and transparency of energy markets, and to accelerate the global energy transition, taking into account the needs of African countries. Participants also discussed current events economic and financial challenges for the most vulnerable states, particularly in Africa. The G7 President called on all creditors and debtors to work together to find solutions with partners at bilateral level, as well as in multilateral forums, and reiterated the importance of accelerating the implementation of the common framework for debt treatment beyond the debt service suspension initiative in this regard. .

Ministers, the High Representative and the Vice-President discussed the acceleration climate crisis, threatening the very existence of humanity. Minister Baerbock reaffirmed the G7’s faith in international solidarity and the need to mitigate and overcome this man-made existential threat. She recalled the commitment of the G7 members to invest in quality infrastructure in Africa on the basis in particular of the G20 Principles for investment in quality infrastructure, in particular through the G7 Partnership for Infrastructure and global investments, as well as other flagship projects. As part of the discussion on the current Covid-19 pandemic, the G7 President welcomed the progress made in implementing the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Action Plan on COVID-19 and reiterated the G7’s commitment to support local vaccination campaigns ( “Last Mile”) to enable equitable access to vaccines and increase vaccination coverage. She also reaffirmed the G7’s commitment to building regional capacity to manufacture vaccines and other essential medical products supported by sustainable markets, and welcomed the GAVI Vaccine Alliance’s proposal for a “strategy market shaping” to be further developed in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.

Participants also discussed the topic of democratic resilience and disinformation. Here, the G7 President noted with concern that the systematic manipulation and interference with information, including disinformation campaigns and threats fueled by hate speech, are increasingly affecting G7 democracies and Africa.

In conclusion, Minister Baerbock stressed the need to remain united with all nations committed to defending the Charter of the United Nations which lays the foundations for peace and security, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, the peaceful settlement of disputes, non-aggression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, human security, development and gender equality.