Updates from the G7 Summit

After an opening day dominated by trade talk, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will shift the G7 conversation to other pressing global issues on Saturday — climate change and empowering women — but at least one leader has opted to skip part of the day’s meetings.

Trudeau and Trump.jpg

Image: Trudeau and Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump will leave La Malbaie, Que., early Saturday before G7 leaders are scheduled to have a working session on protecting the world’s oceans and redoubling efforts to stave off catastrophic climate change. He will, however, take part in the gender-focused breakfast session billed by Canadian officials as a chance for leaders to draft “concrete actions for the G7 to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

Trudeau appointed the Gender Equality Advisory Council — co-chaired by Isabelle Hudon, Canada’s ambassador to France, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — to advise him on recommendations to make at Saturday’s meeting with other world leaders.

The council suggested, among other things, funding for “developing and conflict-affected countries” to improve access to a minimum of 12 years of free, safe and quality “gender-responsive education.”

Trump will then duck out mid-morning to begin his nearly 20-hour journey to Singapore where he is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, a tete-a-tete designed to encourage the rogue state to end its nuclear program.

At most G7 summits, the assembled leaders generally sign off on a communique committing their respective countries to a series of objectives.

With Canada as president of this summit, Trudeau and his “sherpas” — negotiators in the language of global forums — have settled on five broad themes for this year:

  • Investing in growth that works for everyone.
  • Preparing for jobs of the future.
  • Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy.
  • Building a more peaceful and secure world.