April 24, 2018
Toronto, Ontario – Robust democratic institutions, a strong rulesbased international order and respect for diversity create the best conditions for growth for everyone. Canada and its G7 partners recognize the importance of working together to build a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Today, G7 security ministers concluded their meeting, which took place on April 23 and 24, 2018, following the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting on April 22 and 23. The G7 meetings on building a more peaceful and secure world also included a joint session with the foreign and security ministers. That meeting was cochaired by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
During a joint press conference on April 23, ministers Freeland and Goodale addressed the tragic incident in Toronto in which pedestrians were struck by a van, resulting in fatalities and casualties. They offered their condolences to the friends and families of those killed and injured, and thanked the first responders for their remarkable work. The ministers also expressed their gratitude to G7 partners who extended their condolences.
During their respective meetings, foreign and security ministers reaffirmed their belief in open economies, open societies and open governments in which inclusion, respect for diversity and human rights and growth for everyone are valued. Ministers agreed that G7 partners can work together by providing advice to leaders for the Summit in Charlevoix on:
- outlining a coordinated approach to reinforce our democracies and respond to interference in countries’ democratic systems;
- coordinating action with respect to a rulesbased international order;
- bolstering conflictprevention efforts, and support for UN efforts and reform;
- implementing nonproliferation and disarmament measures;
- addressing transnational threats to security, including managing extremist travellers (including foreign terrorist fighters and their families) and countering violent extremism, as well as its use of the Internet;
- tackling threats to cybersecurity;
- combatting trafficking in persons; and
- advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
G7 foreign ministers discussed their shared concerns about international peace and security issues, including Syria, Ukraine and North Korea. In discussing common challenges to the rules-based international order, the ministers broached the concerning pattern of destabilizing Russian behaviour, including Russia’s unacceptable actions in Syria, Ukraine and other neighbouring countries, its interference in democratic processes, and its disinformation campaigns. The ministers also considered ways of strengthening global collaboration to address the humanitarian and security crisis in Myanmar, and of alleviating the tragic impact on Rohingya, particularly women and girls. The ministers also addressed the worsening political and economic crisis in Venezuela and its grave humanitarian consequences.
G7 foreign ministers held a productive discussion with nonG7 women foreign ministers and members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency. The participants highlighted that, in order to be effective and durable, initiatives addressing peace and security challenges need to include women’s meaningful participation at all levels of decisionmaking processes and address women’s and girls’ needs and rights.
G7 security ministers engaged in a constructive discussion with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). This industry forum, comprised of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft, was established in 2017 with the aim of formalizing how these companies can work together to address the exploitation of their platforms by violent extremists and terrorists. The ministers and GIFCT discussed how they will work together to address terrorist use of the Internet.
The security ministers heard from the Gender Equality Advisory Council members, who provided advice regarding genderbased violence and protecting victims of trafficking, particularly trafficking for sexual exploitation. Jürgen Stock, the Secretary General of Interpol, participated in the security ministers’ meeting as an observer.
“Canada and its G7 partners have an important role to play in building a more peaceful and secure world. Over the past two days, my counterparts and I had the opportunity to discuss and take concrete actions on some of today’s most pressing global challenges and issues, including defending democracy, the Rohingya crisis, Syria, Russia, Venezuela and North Korea. These conversations will shape, prepare and inform the essential discussions that the G7 leaders will have on June 8 to 9 in the Charlevoix region.”
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Canada is fully committed to working with its G7 partners to tackle the security threats we collectively face, including terrorism, violent extremism, cybersecurity and the trafficking of persons. As we take the next steps together, Canada will continue providing leadership to ensure that a more peaceful and secure world will be built on the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for gender equality and all human rights.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- The G7 is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies consisting of Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy, as well as the European Union.
- When Canada held the G8 presidency in 2010, foreign ministers met in Gatineau, Quebec.
- Cochaired by Melinda Gates and the Ambassador of Canada to France, Isabelle Hudon, the Gender Equality Advisory Council is advising Canada in the context of its G7 Presidency on how to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment across all themes, activities and initiatives.
- Foreign ministers from Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica and Panama participated to the outreach session with nonG7 women Foreign Ministers, along with members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7