The second day of the G7 in Taormina kicked off at 8.30 with a welcome ceremony for political leaders and representatives of international organizations that today have joined the Heads of State and Government of the G7 countries.
African leaders include the President of Niger Mahamandou Issoufou, Kenya’s President Uhura Kenyatta, Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi, Nigeria’s Deputy Prime Minister Yemi Osinbajo and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn.
Representatives of African organizations who are involved in today’s sessions are African Union Chairperson Alpha Condé, African Union Commission Chairperson Mahamat Moussa Faki, and President of African Bank for Development Akinwumi Adesina.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim are attending the Summit as well.
The first day of the G7 in Taormina ended with a dinner hosted by Italian President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, preceded by the Scala Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance in the stunning setting of the Greek Theater.
The summit began this morning at 11:30, with a welcome ceremony, and continued with three working sessions, on foreign and security policy, international economy and sustainable growth. Leaders from the group of leading industrial nations, the G7, have called on internet giants to crack down on extremist content. They warned internet service providers and social media companies to substantially increase their efforts.
The leaders signed a document saying more should be done by internet companies to identify and remove extremist material. But the summit in Taormina, Sicily, failed to agree on climate change. US President Donald Trump, attending his first such summit, held off from endorsing the 2015 deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Separately, Mr Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed plans to boost trade, including a post-Brexit trade deal. Mr Trump has welcomed the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Mrs May was also attending her first G7 summit, as were Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and French President Emmanuel Macron. The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, while the EU also has representatives present.
The leaders also voiced solidarity with the UK after Monday’s bombing in Manchester in which 22 people, including children, were killed. The US President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.
They agreed to enhance sanctions on North Korea, including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.
Today, the second and final day, the leaders are expected to discuss human mobility, food security and gender equality.
At the end of the first day, leaders signed the G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
Sessions will resume tomorrow morning when G7 leaders will be joined by the Heads of State and of Government from five African countries, as well as by representatives of various international organizations.