An important week for civil society and the G7 and G20 summits

Photo: G7 Multimedia

This week the official, key representatives for each of the member G7 and G20 countries (also known as Sherpas“) met in Frankfurt, Germany and Florence, Italy, respectively. On the agenda was the continued discussion and negotiation over a host of critical global issues under consideration for this year’s summits. And while this week’s sessions in Frankfurt and Florence might not have garnered much attention in the press, the outcomes of this week’s Sherpa meetings will be crucial to the outcomes of the final summits later this year.

This week’s sessions in Frankfurt and Florence are the second of three or four Sherpa meetings in the run-up to the final G7 and G20 summits later this year. Summit decision making is like a funnel so with each meeting policy options become more defined and limited. Many of the issues addressed by the Sherpas involve civil society, e.g.: corruption, food and nutrition, health, and the SDGs.

Civil society organizations from around the globe, including an U.S. alliance of NGOs led by InterAction, have organized networks to influence each summit. The Civil 7 (C7) is being coordinated by ActionAid Italy and GCAP Italy. The Civil 20 (C20), in turn, is being coordinated by a secretariat created by two German NGO networks – VENRO, InterAction’s German counterpart, and the Forum on Environment and Development.

The C7 is developing policy statements on issues important to civil society including environment and climate; food security, nutrition and agriculture; migration; health; gender, rights and women and girls; and systemic issues: SDGs, ODA, and financial instability. The C20 is similarly developing policy statements on agriculture, water and food security; environment; finance; health; inequality, gender and social protection; investment; and sustainability. The dialog between civil society leaders and the respective Sherpas will be crucial to influencing the eventual summit outcome and future agendas.

To aid civil society groups working to influence and shape the G7 and G20 agenda, as well as members of the press covering the run-up to the final summits, InterAction has released a number of online resources available related to this year’s G7 and G20 summits:

Additional information is also available at