Enough Pomp and Ceremony: How the G7 can deliver real leadership

By Kervelle Baird

The historical mission of world leaders to amass global dominance has amounted to our complicated challenge of disparities. On the occasion of the 2021 G7 Summit, I continue my lament of the global elite’s abuse of vulnerable nations in their quest to global dominance and refusal to commit to amendments to resolve the outcome. I maintain that  we cannot achieve our goals of equity and development without analysing and amending the policies that delivered the inequities and underdevelopment we face.

In “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance,” Chomsky noted that:

In punishment for the crime of liberation, Haiti was compelled to pay France a huge indemnity in 1825, which guaranteed French domination and had a catastrophic effect on the society that France had devastated in the war of liberation in its richest colony

Haiti would become one of the poorest countries in the world. The lament of my Haitian colleagues in the Caribbean Young Professionals’ Platform for Disaster Risk Management during our integration was unequivocal. They too are frustrated by the lack of action to build their country’s resilience in the face of recurrent hazards. 

Diego Garcia, the main island of the Chagos Achipelago in the Indian Ocean, is another tragic story of the diminishing effect of colonial imperialism on indigenous communities.  The United States sought this territory for a military base – a sector that contributes largely to the US’ disproportionate global carbon emissions and environmental destruction. The United Kingdom offered Mauritius independence and £3000 (to feign a purchase not in contrary of the UN decolonization mission) to retain the Chagos Archipelago to use Diego Garcia to cancel debts owed to the United States with a promise to remove the indigenous population who were forced to migrate to Mauritius and Seychelles where they live in poor conditions. The clandestine trade without legal and public oversight.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated that underlying deficiencies hamper potency to bear novel adversities. Climate Change is our greatest challenge now and for the future.  I call on the United States, the United Kingdom, France and their G7 colleagues to stop traditional policies that do little to resolve the historical legacies of discrepancies that exacerbate the vulnerability of developing nations to Climate Change. I demand that Loss and Damage be acknowledged as the third cost of Climate Change as defined under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Article 8 of the Paris Agreement. I demand urgent action to finance the Loss and Damage currently being borne by developing countries. I refuse to inherit an unchanged world owing to failure to achieve goals for equity and development.  

References: 

Chomsky, Noam. Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance. 2004. Henry Holt and Company, LLC. New York 

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