G7: Foreign policy and Security in the 2015 Leaders’ Declaration

Foreign Policy

Acting on Common Values and Principles
We, the G7, emphasise the importance of freedom, peace and territorial integrity, as well as respect for international law and respect for human rights. We strongly support all efforts to uphold the sovereign equality of all States as well as respect for their territorial integrity and political independence. We are concerned by current conflicts which indicate an erosion of respect for international law and of global security.
Based on our common values and principles we are committed to:

Finding a Solution to the Conflict in Ukraine
We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation and reaffirm our policy of its non-recognition.
We reiterate our full support for the efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the framework of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. We welcome the OSCE’s key role in finding a peaceful solution. We call on all sides to fully implement the Minsk agreements including the Package of Measures for their implementation signed on 12 February 2015 in Minsk, through the established Trilateral Contact Group and the four working groups. We are concerned by the recent increase in fighting along the line of contact; we renew our call to all sides to fully respect and implement the ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons. We recall that the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. They can be rolled back when Russia meets these commitments. However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require. We expect Russia to stop trans-border support of separatist forces and to use its considerable influence over the separatists to meet their Minsk commitments in full.

We commend and support the steps the Ukrainian government is taking to implement comprehensive structural reforms and urge the Ukrainian leadership to decisively continue the necessary fundamental transformation in line with IMF and EU commitments. We reaffirm our commitment to working together with the international financial institutions and other partners to provide financial and technical support as Ukraine moves forward with its transformation. We ask the G7 Ambassadors in Kiev to establish a Ukraine support group. Its task will be to advance Ukraine´s economic reform process through coordinated advice and assistance.

Achieving High Levels of Nuclear Safety
Achieving and maintaining high levels of nuclear safety worldwide remains a major priority to us. We welcome the report of the G7 Nuclear Safety and Security Group. We remain committed to bringing the Chernobyl Shelter Project to a successful completion in order to make the Chernobyl site stable and environmentally safe.

Maintaining a Rules-Based Maritime Order and Achieving Maritime Security
We are committed to maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law, in particular as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. We are concerned by tensions in the East and South China Seas. We underline the importance of peaceful dispute settlement as well as free and unimpeded lawful use of the world’s oceans. We strongly oppose the use of intimidation, coercion or force, as well as any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo, such as large scale land reclamation. We endorse the Declaration on Maritime Security issued by G7 Foreign Ministers in Lübeck.

Strengthening the System of Multilateral Treaties / Arms Trade Treaty
We emphasise the importance of strengthening the system of multilateral treaties and commitments and in this regard stress the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force on 24 December 2014.

Preventing and Combating Proliferation
We remain committed to the universalisation of all relevant treaties and conventions that contribute to preventing and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. We strongly regret that, although agreement was reached on a number of substantive issues, it was not possible to reach consensus on a final document at the Ninth NPT Review Conference. The G7 renew their commitment to the full implementation of the 2010 Action Plan across the three pillars of the Treaty. The NPT remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Iran
We welcome the political understanding on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached by the E3+3, facilitated by the EU, and Iran on 2 April. We support the continuous efforts by the E3/EU+3 and Iran to achieve a comprehensive solution by 30 June that ensures the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme and ensures that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. We call on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency on verification of Iran’s nuclear activities and to address all outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions. We urge Iran to respect the human rights of its citizens and to to contribute constructively to regional stability.

North Korea
We strongly condemn North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, as well as its appalling human rights violations, and its abductions of nationals from other countries.

Supporting Diplomatic Solutions
We are deeply concerned by the dramatic political, security and humanitarian situation in fragile countries and regions and the dangers originating from these conflicts for neighbouring countries and beyond. We condemn in the strongest terms all forms of sexual violence in conflict, and are committed to enhancing the role of women in international peace and security. Sustainable solutions need to be inclusive in order to reestablish effective governance and achieve sustainable peace and stability.

We support the ongoing UN-led processes to find lasting solutions for peace and stability in Syria, Libya and Yemen. A genuine UN led transition based on the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué is the only way to bring peace and defeat terrorism in Syria.

Libya
In Libya, we are deeply concerned about the growing terrorist threat, arms proliferation, migrant smuggling, humanitarian suffering and the depletion of state assets. Unless a political agreement is reached, the ongoing instability risks prolonging the crisis that is felt most keenly and acutely by the Libyan people themselves. They are already suffering as terrorist groups attempt to expand into ungoverned space and criminal networks exploit the situation by facilitating irregular migration through Libya.
The time for fighting has passed, the moment for bold political decisions has come. We call on Libyans from all sides to seize this opportunity, to put down their weapons and work together to transform the aspirations that gave birth to the revolution into the political foundations of a democratic state. The time for political agreement is now and we commend those Libyans who have supported the dialogue process and displayed leadership by pursuing peace in their own communities.

We welcome the progress made by all the parties to the negotiations led by UNSRSG Bernardino León. Libyan leaders must now grasp the opportunity to conclude these negotiations and to form a Government of National Accord (GNA) accountable to the Libyan people. They, and those who have influence over them, must show the necessary strength and leadership at this critical moment to reach and implement agreement.
Once an agreement is reached, we stand ready to provide significant support to such an inclusive and representative government as it tries to build effective state institutions, including security forces, to restore public services, to expand infrastructure, strengthen, rebuild and diversify the economy and to rid the country of terrorists and criminal networks.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we call upon the parties, with the active support of the International Community, including the Quartet, to work towards a negotiated solution based on two States living in peace and security.

Fighting Trafficking of Migrants/Tackling Causes for Refugee Crises
We are extremely preoccupied about the increasing and unprecedented global flow of refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrants caused by a multitude of conflicts and humanitarian crises, dire economic and ecological situations and repressive regimes. Recent tragedies in the Mediterranean and the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea illustrate the urgent need to address effectively this phenomenon, and in particular the crime of trafficking of migrants. We reaffirm our commitment to prevent and combat the trafficking of migrants, and to detect, deter and disrupt human trafficking in and beyond our borders. We call upon all nations to tackle the causes of these crises that have such tragic consequences for so many people and to address the unique development needs of middle-income countries hosting refugees and migrants.

Fighting Terrorism and its Financing
The scourge of terrorism has affected countless innocent victims. It denies tolerance, the enjoyment of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom, destroys cultural heritage and uproots millions of people from their homes. In light of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters phenomenon, the fight against terrorism and violent extremism will have to remain the priority for the whole international community. In this context we welcome the continued efforts of the Global Coalition to counter ISIL/Da’esh.
We reaffirm our commitment to defeating this terrorist group and combatting the spread of its hateful ideology. We stand united with all countries and regions afflicted by the brutal terrorist acts, including Iraq, Tunisia and Nigeria whose leaders participated in our discussions at Schloss Elmau. It is a task for all nations and societies to confront the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and violent extremism, including the spread of hatred and intolerance, also through the internet, by promoting good governance and respect for human rights. We stress the importance of implementing the necessary measures to detect and prevent acts of terrorism, to prosecute those responsible, and rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders, in accordance with international law, and to prevent the financing of terrorism.

The fight against terrorism and terrorist financing is a major priority for the G7. We will continue to act fast and decisively, and will strengthen our coordinated action. In particular we reaffirm our commitment to effectively implement the established international framework for the freezing of terrorists’ assets, and will facilitate cross-border freezing requests among G7 countries. We will take further actions to ensure greater transparency of all financial flows, including through an appropriate regulation of virtual currencies and other new payment methods. We reaffirm the importance of the ongoing work undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and commit to contributing actively to this work. We will strive to ensure an effective implementation of FATF standards, including through a robust follow-up process.
Likewise, we are committed to combating wildlife trafficking, which is pushing some of the world’s species to the brink of extinction and in some instances is being used to finance organized crime, insurgencies, and terrorism.

Supporting African Partners
We welcome the strengthening of democratic institutions and the growing economic opportunities across Africa, and note this progress under challenging circumstances across the continent, including progress in establishing stability in Somalia and a largely peaceful democratic transition in Nigeria. We reiterate our continued commitment to support African partners in addressing challenges to security, governance and stability, including in Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Nigeria and most recently Burundi.

Supporting Afghanistan
We are committed to an enduring partnership with Afghanistan in support of its stability, prosperity and democratic future.

Supporting the Reconstruction in Nepal
We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction caused by the devastating earthquakes in Nepal and are offering the people and the government of Nepal our ongoing support. We will continue to provide emergency assistance as needed and are ready to consider requests for bi- and multilateral financial and technical support as well as reconstruction assistance in alignment with the priorities of the Nepalese government. We strive to contribute to the restoration of lost and damaged cultural treasures.

(for the full version of the 2015 G7 Declaration click here)

Over Hans de Vreij

Dutch journalist. Former correspondent in Brussels, Geneva, Prague, East Berlin.
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