Was the G7 a success for world peace?

1975 was a time when the world was putting up with the very first oil shock and the financial crisis which followed. The heads of state of the top 6 leading industrial economies met, in order to discuss the global economy.

In 76’, they were joined by Canada and in 98’ by Russia. Thereafter, when Russia annexed Crimea, the G7 countries decided in March, 2014 to go on with the meetings without Russia.

The very first G6 summit was presided by France, USA, UK, West Germany, Japan and Italy. They agreed to meet once yearly in future, under rotating presidency. After Canada joined the group in 1976, it came to be known as G7.

The birth of G7 was a result of global economic issues. Exchange rate system across the world was a matter that needed to be looked into. The heads of the states presented viewpoints regarding the international economic policy.

It was in 1980s that G7 extended its interests to look into issues associated with foreign and security policies. The international challenges surrounding the world at the time were the longstanding Iran-Iraq conflict and Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Role of Russia is an important factor in the history of G7 and its influence over world peace.

When the East-West conflict came to an end, Mikhail Gorbachev was invited for talks in 1991. This took place in London, and operated parallel to G7 summit.

Right till the year 2013, Russia used to be a part of the summit meetings. In 98’ when Russia was formally inducted into the group, it came to be known as G8.

Things changed in 2014 following Russia’s violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Heads of G7 states chose not to attend the G8 summit as planned, under Russia’s Presidency in Sochi.

G7 nations decided not to attend G8 summits while Russia did not change course. This is because they believe that the environment is not such that allows them to hold reasonable discussions.

G7 meeting never took place in Sochi, Russia in 2014. Instead G7 states met in Brussels, Germany on 4th and 5th June, 2014. Territorial integrity is one of the important working agendas of G7.

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The Obligation of the International Doctor Community in the Face of the Syrian Crisis

Recently there was a question posed to me about how importnat it was for us to recognize the role of doctors – and the international doctors community – in the face of the Syrian crisis.

Many doctors join organizations such as Doctors without Borders – to address the issues going on all over the world – however the bigger question and issue is the point of doctors when a true tragedy strikes.

The displacement of immigrants – not to mention the injuries that have been suffered by civilians – and not even including the soldiers – in Syria – has been immense. The fight is still ongoing and unfortunately there is not much happening to show that it will quiet down anytime soon.

Both sides have dug in their heels – and to help is to invite retribution from the other side to which you help. Trying to be of assistnace can lead doctors into tight spots.

The solution does not seem to be presenting itself in a logical manner any time in the future – and this will be discussed at our upcoming conference – how exactly to treat and go into a warzone and help people. Many countries have opened their doors to the immigrants from Syria – the question is – how will we be able to enter these war zones and enact the most positive benefit without putting doctors at risk and stop them from helping others down the line.

This is a long and complicated question – and with ISIS being crushed it can feel like the Syrian war is over – but make no mistake – the fight is still on going and as doctors we need to ensure that we can come in and help each side – whether it’s the revolutionaries or Assad – to help them make peace and love each other.

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