G7 2016 in Japan: PM press statement
Prime Minister David Cameron gave a press statement at the close of the G7 in Ise-Shima, Japan.
Good afternoon and welcome. Let me firstly start by saying it’s a real pleasure to be here. Japan is a beautiful country, and Ise-Shima is particularly breath-taking.
The G7 is a group of nations bound together by common values and common principles – freedom, democracy, the rule of law, a belief in open markets and respect for human rights.
It’s a place where true democracies and like-minded countries come together for frank, private discussions on the biggest issues we face.
Whether we’re dealing with fighting terrorism, the migration crisis, trade, anti-corruption, or global health, when we meet like this, we do have the opportunity to get things done.
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On the economy, we discussed the risks to the world economy and to jobs and growth at home, particularly from the economic transition in China and the problems in some developing economies.
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On terrorism, G7 leaders are in unanimous agreement that Islamist extremism is the threat of our generation. Daesh is its current and most violent manifestation.
We’ve agreed here that the international community must keep up the pressure to defeat this terrorist death cult.
Britain is playing its part militarily, with our RAF pilots having now conducted more than 700 airstrikes in Iraq and since December, more than 40 in Syria – which is more than any nation other than the US.
With coalition support, Iraqi forces have already retaken over 40% of the territory once held by Daesh. Our intelligence services are cooperating with each other as never before. And in our discussion last night we agreed to do more.
But it is not enough to just fight the symptoms of the Daesh disease.
I have argued here, as I have many times before, that we must go beyond this, and tackle the root causes of extremism.
That includes defeating the poisonous ideology of Daesh online, where it warps the hopes and aspirations of young people in our communities.
And it means building more integrated and cohesive societies at home. We discussed all of these things and shared ideas with each other.
On Russia, the G7 has agreed on the vital importance of sanctions rollover in June.
Ukraine is the victim of Russian-backed aggression. We must never forget that fact.
And the G7 is clear that existing sanctions must remain in place until the Minsk agreement is fully implemented. I believe that is an important decision.
On the migration crisis, the lessons of the recent past are clear.
Yes, we must help refugees in the region and neighbouring countries – and we do that.
Yes, we must support jobs and livelihoods in poor and unstable African countries. And we do. Indeed, the UK is doing more of this work really than anyone else.
But you also need stronger borders and a means to return those who attempt the dangerous crossing. In the eastern Mediterranean, on average nearly 2,000 people arrived this way per day before the EU-Turkey deal was signed. Since then, it’s fewer than 100.
It’s still fragile agreement – but returning people works.
Now we need to do the same with the central Mediterranean route and we discussed this at the G7 meeting. We are working to agree a plan to boost the capability of the Libyan coastguard.
Once a detailed plan has been agreed with the Libyan authorities, the UK will send a UK training team to assist in its implementation.
And once the relevant permissions and UN Security Council Resolution are in place, I will deploy a naval warship to the south central Mediterranean to combat arms trafficking in the region.
Together these developments will help stabilise Libya, secure its coast and tackle the migration crisis. [Content removed due to EU referendum guidelines.]
Almost everything we discussed I would argue had something in common. Think of the topics. The need for an effective government in Iraq or Ukraine. The need for successful, stable countries in Africa to prevent migration. The need to deliver continued balanced growth in developing countries. The need to stop ransom payments to terrorist kidnappers. The need to ensure the proper payment of taxes by companies at home and abroad.
They are all caused by, or made worse by, corruption. That’s why I held my recent summit in London. And that’s why I’m delighted to announce that the G7 has agreed to take forward a coordinated, ambitious global effort to defeat corruption.
The G7 has endorsed the London Summit’s outcomes, and will play a leading role in their implementation.
Finally, on global health, we’ve discussed the urgent need to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
Now this sounds complicated. But it’s simple.
In too many cases antibiotics have stopped working.
That means people are dying of simple infections or conditions like TB, tetanus and sepsis – infections that should not mean a death sentence.
I put this on the global agenda in 2014.
Last week, Jim O’Neill published his authoritative Review on anti-microbial resistance, highlighting the catastrophic consequences if we do not act – 10 million excess deaths a year by 2050. If we do nothing about this there’ll be a cumulative hit to the world economy of $100 trillion, and the potential end of modern medicine as we know it.
Lord O’Neill challenges us to act now.
As a first step, the UK has put in place £265 million to track the spread of resistance in developing countries, and £50 million into a global fund for antimicrobial resistance research and development.
But we need to go further. We need to act on both the demand for new antibiotics and the supply for existing ones.
And so we will cut inappropriate prescribing in the UK by half by 2020, leading the global field in reducing demand for antimicrobials.
And we will work with international partners to develop a system that rewards companies for bringing new products to market. I talked about this with the World Bank and others today.
This is vital work, and the G7 has a clear role to play in taking it forward.
And now I’m happy to take some questions.
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