At the recent G7 meeting in Japan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and fellow Foreign Ministers discussed the path forward on a long list of global challenges.
Top on the list was the threat that terrorist organizations such as Daesh continues to pose around the world. The G7 ministers in their joint communique condemned the attacks, atrocities and abuses of human rights, and the murder of civilians, including hostages perpetrated by Daesh as well as other terrorist organizations. All of the G7 nations expressed their steadfast commitment to degrade and destroy Daesh through the global coalition.
A critical part of defeating Daesh is helping bring about a political transition in Syria that ends the civil war there, because ending the conflict is an essential part of reducing the capacity for Daesh to expand its activities.
It is essential to reduce the number of terrorists who may try to return home to Russia, to the Central Asia, to Europe, to the United States, in order to carry out jihadist attacks. Peace in Syria is also the key to stemming the flow of refugees, particularly from the Middle East to Europe.
On Iraq, the G7 nations recommitted their support for a united and sovereign Iraq, including their support to Prime Minister al-Abadi and his government’s efforts to accelerate reforms to enhance the participation of all Iraqis through national reconciliation and inclusive governance. They also stressed the need to rebuild inclusive and government controlled Iraqi forces.
With regard to Afghanistan, the G7 ministers agreed that the international community must continue to support the unity government there in its efforts to stabilize the country and bring peace and security to a war-weary people.
The G7 ministers called on North Korea to refrain from actions and rhetoric that further escalate tensions in the region and instead take steps to fulfill its international commitments and obligations to denuclearize.
On the South China Sea, the G7 ministers reiterated its commitment to maintaining peace, security, and safety on the open seas by protecting freedom of navigation, overflight, and unimpeded lawful commerce. Disputes must not lead to militarization and should be settled according to international law.
There is strength in speaking with one voice. As Secretary Kerry said, these joint G7 commitments will “take our nations down a path towards a safer, more secure future for our fellow citizens and. . .for generations to come.”