January 25, 2022

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G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting

14 min read

Office of the Spokesperson

“Another enduring principle is that we need countries to cooperate, now more than ever.”

Secretary Antony J. Blinken, March 3, 2021

Secretary Blinken will attend the G7 Foreign and Development Minister’s Meeting in London, the United Kingdom, from May 3-5, 2021.  The members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with the European Union present as an observer.  As host, the United Kingdom has invited additional countries to join as guests at the meeting, including Australia, India, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, and Brunei in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN.

  • Secretary Blinken is attending the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting to lay the foundation for the G7 Leaders’ Summit to be held in June. President Biden has announced plans to travel to the United Kingdom in June for the summit, his first overseas travel.
  • The Secretary will also meet his UK and G7 counterparts to discuss areas of mutual concern such as COVID-19, economic recovery and growth, the climate crisis, human rights, food security, gender equality, and more.
  • This is an opportunity to demonstrate the G7’s leadership based on shared goals and values, a commitment to “building back better” on health and climate, economic recovery, and on international security challenges.
  • Secretary Blinken is looking forward to discussing the democratic values that we share with our partners and allies within the G7 and how we can work with other countries to address the key geopolitical issues we are facing together.
  • The participation of the United States at this meeting of the G7 reinforces our commitment to multilateralism as the ideal vehicle to address our shared challenges.

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Tonight, I'm going to talk about some of our challenges to give you a better sense of where we're headed and why it's so urgent that we transform government, and do it very soon. I'm then going to talk about the need for real leadership and what each of us can do to help keep America great. What are these known changes and challenges? Let me start with one of the most sweeping agents of change, and that's demographics. Demographics will decisively shape the American and global landscape in the future. Beyond demographics, the United States confronts a range of other challenges. Globalization is affecting our international competitiveness, our trade posture, our capital markets, our jobs, and our approach to environmental and public health issues. For example, globalization is a key reason public health experts are so concerned about the rapid spread of viruses like avian flu. Other challenges come from technology. 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And that brings me to America's third deficit--our overall balance-of-payments deficit. Finally, there's our fourth deficit, and it's probably the most sobering deficit of all. What I'm talking about is America's leadership deficit.Our population is aging. At the same time, U.S. workforce growth is slowing. This means that just when increasing numbers of baby boomers are starting to retire and draw benefits, there will be fewer workers paying taxes and contributing to social insurance programs. Importantly, retirees are living longer but wanting to retire earlier. These developments are going to put huge strains on our pension and health care systems. With the end of the Cold War, we face new security threats, including transnational terrorist networks and rogue states armed with nuclear weapons. On an accrual basis, our fiscal 2005 deficit was $760 billion, up $144 billion in the last year alone. Even more troubling, the federal government's long-term liabilities and unfunded commitments for things like Social Security and Medicare benefits have risen to more than $46 trillion. That's up from about $20 trillion just five years ago. The new Medicare prescription drug benefit, which may be one of the most poorly designed, inefficiently implemented, and fiscally irresponsible government programs of all time, has added more than $8 trillion to this sea of red ink. And these numbers don't even take into account the bills that are coming from rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast or future costs associated with Iraq and Afghanistan. Our quality of life in many ways has never been better. But America also faces a growing and unhealthy gap between the haves and the have-nots. 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