- G7 SUMMIT
Zelenskyy Appeals Directly to Assembled Leaders for Support against Russia’s Aggression
21:43 JST, May 21, 2023
HIROSHIMA — The G7 wrapped up its three-day summit in Hiroshima on Sunday. The final day set the stage for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to appeal to the world for support against Russia’s aggression.
The leaders held an in-person discussion with Zelenskyy and agreed to continue supporting Ukraine. It was the first time that the G7 leaders met Zelenskyy all together since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The Ukrainian president then attended an outreach session of the leaders of the G7 and invited countries, including India, and made a direct appeal to the developing and emerging nations collectively known as the Global South for support.
Speaking at a press conference to conclude the summit, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “Inviting President Zelenskyy to Japan has demonstrated the unwavering solidarity between the G7 and Ukraine.”
Amid the prospect of a major counteroffensive by Ukraine, the G7 leaders in Sunday’s discussions agreed to steadily implement their commitment to provide diplomatic, financial, humanitarian and military assistance to Kyiv. They also reaffirmed that they would restore peace in Ukraine, uphold a free and open international order based on the rule of law and never tolerate any attempts to change the status quo by force.
The outreach session titled “Toward a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous World” was held for about 90 minutes from noon. Zelenskyy was seated between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
While many of the participating Global South countries with ties to Russia, such as Brazil, India and Indonesia, have tried to avoid directly criticizing Moscow, Zelenskyy explained to the leaders Ukraine’s position and asked them for support.
At the session, the participating leaders expressed concern about the human suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the negative impact on the global economy, such as energy and food insecurity. They affirmed the view that the situation must be resolved peacefully through dialogue, and that any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force must not be tolerated.
Zelenskyy met some leaders bilaterally shortly after his arrival in Hiroshima on Saturday.
During his bilateral talks with Modi, Zelenskyy called on the Indian prime minister to support Ukraine’s peace plan, according to the Ukrainian presidential office.
India, a member of BRICS, which also includes Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, has continued to import crude oil from Russia at low prices.
“The conflict in Ukraine has had a significant impact on the whole world,” Modi said, according to the Indian government. “For me, this is not a political or economic issue but an issue of humanity, of human values.”
Modi added that he himself and his country, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, would “do everything within our means” to resolve the situation in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy visits A-bomb museum
Early Sunday evening, Zelenskyy visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where exhibits seek to convey the reality of the 1945 atomic bombing of the city by the United States.
Wearing black, rather than his trademark khaki outfit, Zelenskyy was welcomed by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and toured the museum for about 40 minutes.
The Ukrainian president then walked alongside Kishida to the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims and they laid flowers there.
Key points reaffirmed
The summit has made certain progress in many areas under these keywords: the rule of law, nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, and the Global South.
Regarding Ukraine, the leaders affirmed that they would continue to provide necessary assistance to the fullest extent possible and warned Russia-supporting countries that they would pay a cost. The leaders also confirmed the importance of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation toward the ultimate goal of realizing a “world without nuclear weapons.”
Expressing and sharing serious concerns about the situation in the East and South China Seas, the leaders underlined the G7’s refusal to tolerate any attempt by China to unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion and affirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The G7 also urged Beijing to press Moscow to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
The leaders further agreed to create a new framework to counter economic coercion in the area of economic security and to accelerate efforts to formulate international rules on generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as ChatGPT.
Kishida: Pledge of peace shared
To wrap up the summit, Kishida emphasized the significance of the visit by world leaders to the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, his constituency.
“The G7 members and invited nations’ leaders were able to share a pledge of peace,” Kishida said during the press conference held at the park to close the G7 summit.
Kishida started the briefing by stating his belief that the leaders have “two responsibilities.”
“First, we have a solemn responsibility to protect the safety of our people in a severe security environment,” Kishida said. “At the same time, we have the lofty responsibility of continuing to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons, never losing sight of this ideal.”
The prime minister also pledged to continue to fulfill his role as G7 chair beyond the end of the summit.
“As we continue to have these opportunities, we will carry with us the fruitful discussions we had in Hiroshima,” Kishida said. “We will take the lead in strengthening our collaboration with these countries to solve various issues together.”
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