June 17, 2024

From the G7 Summit: G7 Heads of Government include unprecedented language centering civil society in official G7 Leaders’ Communique

From the G7 Summit: G7 Heads of Government include unprecedented language centering civil society in official G7 Leaders’ Communique

Each year at the G7 Summit, Heads of Government from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and from the European Union (EU) as a “non-enumerated member”, meet to discuss the world’s most pressing issues.

Last week, Italy and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hosted the Summit in Apulia, Italy, where leaders produced the official G7 Leaders’ Communiqué. This document expresses these countries’ shared commitments and perspectives emerging from the Summit. This year, the communiqué included unprecedented language prioritizing civil society peacebuilding as a critical component of any diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stating:

“We affirm our commitment to working together —and with other international partners—to closely coordinate and institutionalize our support for civil society peacebuilding efforts, ensuring that such efforts are part of a larger strategy to build the foundation necessary for a negotiated and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

This inclusion comes after a months-long campaign led by ALLMEP that called on leaders to center the work of civil society peacebuilders. 37 UK Parliamentarians, 22 Members of the European Parliament, and His Holiness Pope Francis all added their support to the campaign, standing in solidarity with the ALLMEP community and recognizing the critical role that grassroots organizations have to play in any long term, sustainable peace process. 

A letter to G7 Heads of Government calling for this inclusion was signed by more than 160 Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilding NGOs, and over 200 civil society organizations from around the world, including Northern Ireland, South Africa, Colombia, and Kashmir, where communities know only too well the pain of entrenched conflict and the importance of civil society in breaking cycles of violence and injustice. 

There has been no mention of the conflict in four of the last five communiques, noted Patrick Wintor in the Guardian. This inclusion comes during the most difficult and violent years in the history of the conflict, where attention to civil society is more critical than ever.

ALLMEP’s John Lyndon spoke with Politico at the G7 Summit stating, “It (the communique) recognizes the efforts of those on the ground who are actually working towards conflict resolution and taking the long-term approach that peace-building requires.”

ALLMEP welcomes and is grateful for the inclusion of this bold new language, and the global show of solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilders who helped catalyze it. 

The peacebuilding community now looks forward to working with G7 governments to help develop strategies that can fulfill the promise of this new policy shift, one that centers and prioritizes the role of civil society and allows peacebuilders to lead in shaping a new Israeli/Palestinian reality.

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