The seven main democratic powers of the world intend to hold an international conference and launch a kind of “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
In the face of the destruction wrought by the war in Ukraine, the international community is facing a “gigantic task”, German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in his closing speech at the G7 summit, held at the Bavarian castle of Elmau, in southern Germany. ..
In their final statement, the G7 leaders also said they were willing to “agree to long-term security commitments to help Ukraine in its self-defense”. However, the statement did not elaborate on the nature of these commitments, and Scholz also declined to comment.
As for the reconstruction of Ukraine, Scholz drew a parallel with the Marshall Plan implemented under the direction of the US, which financed the reconstruction of devastated West Germany after the Second World War. “The image of the Marshall Plan is not exaggerated,” Scholz said, adding that this makes clear the “dimension” of the task at hand.
The G7 summit’s final statement says the group supports an international conference and reconstruction program for Ukraine.
The planning and implementation of the program, according to the text, should be the responsibility of Ukraine “in close cooperation with international partners”.
“We reiterate our condemnation of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine,” the statement reads. “We will support Ukraine for as long as necessary and provide the necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support for the courageous defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Fight against global hunger
According to Scholz, the second important outcome of the summit is the fight against global hunger, exacerbated above all by the Russian war of aggression.
The G7 heads of state and government pledged an additional €4.3 billion to help those most affected by hunger and malnutrition. According to their own statements, the seven large industrialized democracies will make available this year a total of more than 13 billion euros. According to the UN, the equivalent of 44 billion euros is needed to effectively contain the current food crisis.
In addition, the G7 says it supports all efforts to unlock Ukrainian ports and create safe corridors for grain exports. The group also wants to help identify grain illegally exported from Ukraine.
Scholz said the G7 also supported the idea of an international “climate club”, which the chancellor said should be established by the end of 2022. The club should aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including measuring and recording them. The intention is also to combat production reallocations to other countries with less stringent climate requirements.
Another goal should be a conversion of the industry towards greater sustainability. The seven economic powers want, with energy partnerships, to help the poorest countries with experience and funds in the transition to a more sustainable economy.
On Sunday, the opening day of the summit, the G7 announced the launch of a major infrastructure investment plan for developing countries that aims to respond to China’s advancing global influence. The initiative, called “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment”, aims to increase development in low- and middle-income countries and strengthen the planet’s economy, as well as distribution chains.
md/lf (AFP, DPA, Reuters, ots)