A history of the G7 Ministerial Meetings

A history of the G7 Ministerial Meetings
A history of the G7 Ministerial Meetings

On Tuesday, April 11, the first round of G7 ministerial meetings devoted to Culture, Energy and Foreign Affairs ended. Such meetings have been held over the years to meet the growing variety and complexity of global issues faced by the G7. During the Italian Presidency there will be a total of 12 meetings. Each gathering has its own history.

Ministers of Culture (Florence, March, 30-31, 2017)

This was the first meeting devoted to culture in the history of the G7. Organized over two working days, the ministerial meeting focused on the protection of cultural heritage, illicit trafficking, and culture as a tool for dialogue among peoples.

Energy Ministers (Rome, April 9-10, 2017)

The Energy Ministers of the G7 countries, the EU Commissioner for Energy and the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency met for the first time in Rome on May 5-6, 2014. Before then, Energy Ministers had met only once, at the Tokyo Summit of 1979, following the establishment of the expert group for the verification of compliance with the quantitative limits to oil consumption, established in Bonn. Since that first meeting in Rome in 2014, the Energy Ministers have met three times under the G7 aegis: in Hamburg in 2015, in Kitakyushu last year, and this year, under the Italian Presidency of 2017.

Foreign Ministers (Lucca, April 10-11, 2017)

Since 1998 – when the UK Presidency organized the first "ad hoc" Ministerial meeting to examine the issue of nuclear tests by India and Pakistan – the G7 Foreign Ministers have usually gathered a few weeks before each year’s Summit of the Heads of State and of Government. Prior to that year, and since the first summit at Rambouillet in 1975, the Foreign Ministers – together with the Finance Ministers – had attended the annual meeting of G7 leaders. Their presence was the reference point for the Heads of State and of Government during discussions on foreign policy issues, on the fight against terrorism and on international crisis management.

Finance Ministers (Bari, May 11-13, 2017)

Up until the 1984 London Summit, the G7 Finance Ministers participated, along with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, at the annual summits of the Heads of State and of Government. It was then decided that separate meetings would be organized. Since 1998, after the review of the summit format in Birmingham, Finance Ministers have met regularly a few weeks before the G7 Summit. Meetings are also attended by the Governors of Central Banks, the ECB President and the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.

Environment Ministers (Bologna, June 11-12, 2017)

The Environment Ministers met for the first time in the G7 format in 1992, in preparation of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, they have met annually, and often represent the G7 in international conferences – especially those convened at the United Nations.

Transportation Ministers (Cagliari, June 21-22, 2017)

The first meeting of the G7 Transportation Ministers was held in Frankfurt on September 16-17, 2015, followed by the Karuizawa meeting hosted by the Japanese Presidency last year. During the meeting in Japan, the ministers highlighted the importance of topics such as research in the fields of man-machine interface as well as the infrastructure and the social acceptance of such technological innovations, and set up a working group to further explore these issues. The meeting in Cagliari will therefore be an occasion to inform ministers about the status of the activities undertaken on these themes and to evaluate progress on an international level.

Ministers of Industry / ICT (Turin, September 26-27, 2017)

The meeting in Turin will be the second in G7 history to involve ICT Ministers, after the Takamatsu meeting convened last year in Japan, and the first to involve Industry Ministers. The meeting hosted by the Italian G7 Presidency will also inaugurate the G7 ''Innovation Week”, dedicated to innovation, skills and labor in the New Production Revolution era.

Ministers of Science (Turin, September 28-29, 2017)

In 2008, Japan gathered the G7 Ministers of Science and Technology for the first time, in Okinawa. After the Ministerial Meetings in Berlin in 2015 and Tsukuba last year, the ministers will meet again in Turin to discuss the importance of human capital and new skills in light of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Ministers of Labor (Turin, September 30-October 1, 2017)

The G7 Labor Ministers first met, initially together with the Ministers of Economy and Finance, during the Ministerial Conference on Employment organized in Detroit, in 1994. This year they will meet in Turin to discuss the future of employment.

Agriculture Ministers (Bergamo, October 14-15, 2017)

The Municipality of Cison di Valmarino, in the Province of Treviso, 100 km from Venice, hosted the first meeting of Agriculture Ministers in 2009. On that occasion, the relevant minister from the Czech Republic (as the country held the Presidency of the EU Council) attended the event, as did the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and the Agriculture Ministers of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Egypt, Australia and Argentina. Other invitees included FAO, WFP, IFAD, the World Bank, the High Level Task Force on Food Security, the African Union and the OECD.

Ministers of Health (Milan, November 5-6, 2017)

The first meeting of Ministers of Health was held in Moscow in April 2006. After the Ministerial Meetings in Berlin in 2015 and in Kobe last year, ministers will gather in Milan to conclude the events of the 2017 Italian G7 Presidency.