Nov 4 (Reuters-KL) – Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations discussed how best to coordinate further support for Ukraine at a meeting in Germany on Thursday and Friday.
Following is the text of a statement published by Germany’s foreign ministry, which hosted the meeting.
We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, underline our strong sense of unity and our unshakable commitment to uphold the rules-based international order and to protect the rights of all, including the most vulnerable.
All Members of the United Nations must refrain from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Violations of universally agreed and legally binding fundamental principles such as peaceful cooperation, sovereignty, self-determination, and territorial integrity are unacceptable. We are clear in our commitment to hold those responsible for egregious violations of such basic principles of international law to account.
1. Russia’s war against Ukraine
We again call on Russia to immediately stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and withdraw all of its forces and military equipment. Together with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba we condemn Russia’s recent escalation, including its attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, in particular energy and water facilities, across Ukraine using missiles and Iranian drones and trainers. Through these attacks, Russia is trying to terrorize the civilian population. Indiscriminate attacks against civilian population and infrastructure constitute war crimes and we reiterate our determination to ensure full accountability for these and crimes against humanity. We also condemn the violation of Moldovan airspace.
Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable. Any use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences. We also reject Russia’s false claims that Ukraine is preparing a radiological “dirty bomb”. The inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that these allegations are baseless, and we commend Ukraine for its transparency.
We also condemn Russia’s continued seizure and militarization of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, the abduction and reported abuse of Ukrainian personnel, and the wilful destabilization of its operations. We support the IAEA’s efforts to establish a Safety and Security Zone.
We will continue to impose economic costs on Russia and on other countries, individuals or entities providing military support for Moscow’s war of aggression, as several of us have already done regarding Iran’s provision of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to Russia.
We reiterate our call for the Belarusian authorities to stop enabling Russia’s war of aggression, including permitting Russia’s armed forces to use Belarusian territory to launch missiles targeting Ukraine. If the Belarusian authorities more directly involve Belarus in Russia’s war, the G7 will impose overwhelming additional costs on the regime. We reiterate our unwavering commitment to continue providing the financial, humanitarian, defence, political, technical, and legal support Ukraine needs to alleviate the suffering of its people and to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We salute the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and we are committed to helping Ukraine meet its winter preparedness needs.
Today we establish a G7 coordination mechanism to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure. We look forward to the 13 December international conference in Paris aimed at supporting Ukraine’s civilian resilience, organised by France and Ukraine. We also welcome the outcomes of the 25 October International Experts Conference in Berlin and remain committed to contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine. We will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
We reaffirm our support for press freedom and access to reliable information globally. We will continue to counter Russia’s disinformation, including false allegations concerning bioweapons. We are strengthening the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism’s capacity for a coordinated response.
Recalling the 11 October G7 Leaders’ statement, we welcome President Zelenskyy’s readiness for a just peace based on respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and its legitimate right to defend itself from aggression. Russia’s calls for negotiations are not credible when it continues to escalate the war and issue new threats and disinformation.
2. Global consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine
Russia’s war of aggression is a driver of the most severe global food and energy crises in recent history. We condemn Russia’s attempts to leverage energy and food exports as a tool of geopolitical coercion. The resulting turmoil is hitting vulnerable countries and communities around the world particularly hard, exacerbating an already dire situation caused by the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and existing conflicts. We will continue to coordinate among the G7 and beyond to help mitigate the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression on global economic stability and international food, nutrition and energy security by both addressing acute needs and making medium to long term investments in resilient systems.
We strongly support the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which has reduced global food prices. We urge Russia to heed the Secretary-General’s call. The G7 is also leading other vital international initiatives, including the Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS) and the EU-led Solidarity Lanes. We are also accelerating our work to get fertilizers to the most vulnerable. We commit to promote more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food systems globally and call on the G20 to support these efforts.
We continue to encourage oil-producing countries to increase production, which will decrease volatility in energy markets. We will finalise implementation of the price cap on seaborne Russian oil in the coming weeks.
3. Global issues
We reaffirm the need to strengthen and modernize the United Nations, with a view to making it more effective in the face of mounting global challenges, and we express our support for the vision of the UN Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda.
We are committed to strengthening arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts for a more secure, more stable and safer world. We are strengthening export controls, including through international export control regimes, on materials, technology and research that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. In this context, we support India’s early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
We will also continue to enhance our coordination and cooperation, within and beyond the G7, including on economic security challenges, and we will stand up to acts of economic coercion.
We reaffirm our intention to increase debt transparency and find solutions to debt vulnerabilities, especially by ensuring the swift delivery of results through the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
Underscoring a geostrategic and global approach to connectivity, we renew our commitment to implement the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), including by mobilizing up to 600 billion US-Dollars in public and private investments over the next five years.
We, the G7 members, express our support for the fundamental aspiration of the people of Iran for a future where human security and their universal human rights are respected and protected. We condemn the violent death of the young Iranian woman “Jina” Mahsa Amini after her arrest by Iran’s so called “morality police.” We further condemn the brutal and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters and children. We urge Iranian authorities to honour their international obligations under international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
We advocate the right of all Iranians to access information, and we deplore the Iranian government’s erosion of civil space, and independent journalism, its targeting of human rights defenders, including by shutting down the internet and social media. We urge the Iranian authorities to treat women as equal, respecting the universal rights provided to them under the relevant international human rights treaties. We also call on the Iranian authorities to release unjustly detained prisoners, including recently arrested protesters, children, journalists and human rights defenders, and ensure accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses. We will continue to use all available diplomatic measures to hold the Iranian authorities to account. We call on Iran to allow access to the country for relevant UN Human Rights Special Procedures mandate holders.
We strongly reject Iran’s practice of unfairly detaining dual and foreign citizens and call upon Iran to end the repellent practice of such unjust detentions in hopes of political gain.
We strongly support international efforts to hold Iran to account for its downing of PS752, which killed 176 innocent civilians. We demand that Iran fulfil its international legal obligations without delay.
We strongly condemn Iran’s continued destabilising activities in and around the Middle East. These include Iran’s activities with both ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), i.e. drones, and transfers of such advanced weaponry to state and non-state actors. Such proliferation is destabilising for the region and escalates already high tensions. We urge Iran to cease its support to violent state and non-state actors and proxy groups and fully abide by all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), including UNSCR 2231. We also support efforts at the United Nations to hold Russia and Iran accountable for their blatant violations of UNSCR 2231.
We reiterate our clear determination that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon. The G7 will continue working together, and with other international partners, to address Iran’s nuclear escalation and insufficient cooperation with the IAEA regarding its Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards agreement. We remain deeply concerned by the unabated expansion of Iran’s nuclear program, which has no credible civilian justification. We call on Iran to change course and fulfil its legal obligations and political commitments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation without further delay. We note that despite many months of intense negotiations on a return to the JCPoA, Iran has not made the necessary decisions.
5. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
We, the G7 members, strongly condemn the unprecedented series of unlawful ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK in 2022, including multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the intermediate-range ballistic missile launch on 4 October 2022, which was recklessly launched over Japan. These launches demonstrate the DPRK’s continued efforts to expand its ballistic missile capabilities and are flagrant violations of multiple UNSCRs.
We reiterate our demand that the DPRK abandon its nuclear weapons, existing nuclear programs, and any other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, in accordance with all relevant UNSCRs. We urge the DPRK to immediately halt its destabilising activity, fully abide with all legal obligations under the relevant UNSCRs, and fully comply with the NPT and IAEA safeguards.
Any nuclear test or other reckless action must be met with a swift, united, and robust international response. We call on all states to fully and effectively implement all UNSCRs and vigilantly monitor, prevent, and penalize sanctions evading activities. We call on the DPRK to cease further escalation and engage in meaningful diplomacy concerning its unlawful nuclear and ballistic programs. We remain committed to working with all relevant partners toward the goal of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and upholding the rules-based international order.
We commend the work of the UNSC 1718 Committee, which has swiftly approved all COVID-19 related sanctions exemption requests for humanitarian assistance for the DPRK. We call on the DPRK to allow the re-establishment of UN and diplomatic access, in line with appropriate and reasonable COVID-19 regulations. We continue to condemn the DPRK’s systematic widespread and gross human rights violations and abuses and urge the DPRK to cooperate with all relevant UN bodies and to resolve the abductions issue immediately. We remain gravely concerned regarding the humanitarian situation in the DPRK, which is the result of the DPRK’s choice to prioritize its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs over the welfare of its own people.
We, the G7 members, reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and based on the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic principles, transparency, territorial integrity, and the peaceful and inclusive resolution of disputes. We are committed to protecting and promoting the rules-based international order, improving regional connectivity, strengthening free and fair trade, enhancing national resilience, supporting inclusive economic growth, promoting global health security, as well as confronting the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity. We reaffirm our intention to work together with countries in the region and our support for the unity and centrality of ASEAN and commit to explore concrete cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
7. East and South China Seas
We remain seriously concerned about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas. We strongly oppose any moves that increase tensions and undermine regional stability and the rules-based international order. We emphasize the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and reaffirm UNCLOS’ important role in setting out the legal framework that governs all activities in the ocean and the seas. We reiterate that the award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal on 12 July 2016 is a significant milestone, legally binding, and a useful basis for peacefully resolving disputes. We reaffirm the need to uphold the principle of the UN Charter on peaceful settlement of disputes.
We, the G7 members, aim for constructive cooperation with China, where possible and in our interest, in particular on global challenges like peace and security, global health, the climate and biodiversity crisis and the conservation of natural resources. These challenges can only be tackled successfully through cooperation within the rules-based international order.
We remind China of the need to uphold the principles of the UN Charter on peaceful settlement of disputes and to abstain from threats, coercion, intimidation, or the use of force. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.
We reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and call for the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. There is no change in the basic positions of G7 members on Taiwan, including stated one China policies.
We will continue to raise our concerns with China on its reported human rights violations and abuses, including in Xinjiang and Tibet. We reiterate our concerns over the continued erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms and autonomy, and call on China to act in accordance with its international commitments and legal obligations.
We also call on China to treat foreign diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
9. Central Asia
We, the G7 members, discussed the multiple challenges facing the five Central Asian countries, ranging from the economic and geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, to regional security issues and disputes, to climate change. We are committed to strengthening our cooperation with Central Asian countries and working with their governments and people on socio-economic development, respect for human rights, implementation of domestic and institutional reforms, as well as regional security. We will also work together to foster connectivity, transportation, and trade links.
We, the G7 members, underscore the geopolitical and strategic importance of the African continent. Close cooperation with our African partners remains vital. Africa is particularly affected by multiple global crises such as the climate crisis, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity and malnutrition, energy insecurity, the socio-economic consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine, democratic backsliding, and massive global economic headwinds. Our cooperation with and support for Africa are guided by the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the goals of the Paris Agreement, and the principles of the UN Charter. We will continue to work with our African partners to build resilient and sustainable agri-food and energy systems, mitigate climate change, and address disinformation.
We remain committed to investing in quality infrastructure in Africa based on the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, including through the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. We will continue to support regional manufacturing capacity for vaccines and other essential medical products supported by sustainable markets.
We are deeply concerned by the continuing deterioration of the political, security and humanitarian situation, including humanitarian access, in the Sahel. We are appalled by the violations and abuses of human rights against civilian populations, including those committed by terrorist groups and the Russia-affiliated Wagner Group forces in Mali. We call for accountability of all those responsible for human rights violations or abuses. We express our concern over the growing presence of Russian affiliated forces in Mali and elsewhere on the continent and their potentially destabilising impact. We call for timely preparation of free and fair elections and comprehensive implementation of the transition charters in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, and reaffirm our support to the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union in this regard. We condemn the violence against protesters in Chad and the failure of that transitional government to adhere to African Union principles and communiques. We reiterate our strong commitment to support the populations of the Sahel countries, especially youth, and emphasize the need to work with people and governments of the littoral states in the Gulf of Guinea to strengthen their resilience to the threat of terrorism in a comprehensive way.
We remain concerned about peace and security in the Horn of Africa and the acute humanitarian needs, including famine in Somalia, and which disproportionally impact women and girls. We will work with the countries, institutions and civil society in the region to address these challenges. We welcome the announcement of the agreement reached by the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) brokered by the African Union, South Africa and Kenya, to settle the conflict in northern Ethiopia. We urge the Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF to fully honour and implement this commitment. Human rights violations, atrocities and abuses must cease immediately. Perpetrators of these violations and abuses must be held to account; survivors and victims must obtain justice.
We commend Somalia on the election of a new government and call for a concerted international effort to support President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s reform priorities and the fight against al-Shabaab. We firmly condemn the heinous attack by al-Shabaab on civilians on 29 October and express our heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims. More than one year after the military takeover in Sudan, we continue to urge the military to respect the commitment they made to withdraw from politics and maintain our call for a return to a civilian-led government based on broad support from the Sudanese people.
We are increasingly concerned by the ongoing, escalating violence and conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as regional tensions in the Great Lakes. We urge restraint by the M23 armed movement and call for a cessation of its current offensive. We welcome recent steps taken towards more stability in the region, including through talks with armed groups in the framework of the “EAC DRC Peace Process” and regional mediation by Angola. We call on all involved to participate in these efforts in good faith and to act in accordance with international law. We are convinced that only broad, multi-sectoral and cross-border cooperation can bring about lasting stability in the region.
We express our deep concern at the worsening humanitarian situation in Haiti, particularly the increased spread of cholera and the deepening food and fuel crisis. We condemn the violence perpetrated by armed groups and those who support them. They are terrorizing and holding the population hostage. We reiterate our commitment to support all efforts to quickly resolve the current security and humanitarian crisis. We call on all stakeholders in Haiti to restore order and security and to allow the delivery of the aid required to meet the urgent needs of the population. We commend the UNSC for adopting a sanctions regime on 21 October. We reiterate the importance of establishing the conditions necessary to allow for free and fair elections.
(Compiled by Paul Carrel)