The G7 countries have a responsibility to lead the world in social and economic progress. Image: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
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On June 8 and 9, we’ll be welcoming the world to Canada for the 2018 G7 Leaders’ Summit. Every year, this summit gives us a chance to have open and frank discussions about the pressing global challenges of the day and this year will be no different. Here are the five priorities that will guide our conversations in Charlevoix:
1. Investing in growth that works for everyone.
We can point to GDP growth and show that the world is more prosperous than ever before. But economic indicators, however positive, fail to capture the rising uncertainty of many people who are worried about their prospects and their children’s futures.
As leaders of the G7, we share a fundamental responsibility to stimulate economic growth that benefits everyone, and in particular those most at risk of being left behind. In Charlevoix, we will embrace this challenge head-on by focusing on policies that create good jobs, grow the middle class, and address rising income inequality.
2. Preparing for jobs of the future.
Automation, technological breakthroughs, and global free trade have delivered unprecedented prosperity – but they have also led to great change, especially in the labour market. To help people adapt to the changing nature of work, we must foster a culture of lifelong learning, and make sure everyone has access to the skills and training they need to compete in the workforce, today and tomorrow.
3. Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Today, women still do not have equal opportunities, even though they make up half of our population and workforce. Making sure women can participate fully and equally in the economy is not just the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do. Over the last 40 years, the rising number of women participating in Canada’s workforce has accounted for about a third of our country’s real GDP per capita growth.
We created the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council to make sure gender equality guides all areas of Canada’s G7 presidency – and to set a precedent going forward. I look forward to taking the Council’s recommendations to the Leaders’ Summit, and am confident future leaders will continue to make gender equality a central part of their G7 presidencies.
4. Working together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy.
Strong, coordinated action is needed now more than ever to tackle climate change, protect the world’s oceans, and transform the way we produce, transport, and use energy.
People around the world depend on oceans for their livelihoods. We will work with coastal countries and heads of international organizations to address threats facing our waters, from ocean plastic pollution to more frequent and severe weather events. Together, we must find ways to respond to these challenges, adapt to our changing climate, and protect our oceans for generations to come.
5. Building a more peaceful and secure world.
As leaders of the G7, we share a responsibility to build a more peaceful and secure world, recognizing that stability is necessary for economic growth. We must stand up for the rules-based international order, remain beacons of democratic principles and human rights, and work together to meet the complex and evolving global security challenges of today’s world.
None of us can solve these problems alone. I look forward to welcoming leaders to beautiful Charlevoix where we will showcase the best Canada has to offer, as we work toward a future that puts people first and delivers progress for everyone.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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