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T7 Recommendations Realized in the 2018 G7 Charlevoix Commitments

Brittaney Warren, Director of Compliance, G7 Research Group
June 27, 2018


An engagement group recognized by the Canadian presidency, the Think7 Academic Summit (T7) brought together experts from 23 different universities and think tanks from all the G7 members plus China, India and South Africa. It met in Quebec City and Baie St-Paul, Canada, on the eve of the 2018 G7 Charlevoix Summit, at the invitation of Laval University's Institute for Advanced International Studies, in partnership with six other Canadian schools of international affairs and think tanks.

During a working session with all the G7 leaders' sherpas, the T7 participants presented the "Think7 Quebec Declaration on Global Governance and the Challenges of Complexity and Inclusiveness," which recommended 17 specific proposals for actions to be considered during the Charlevoix Summit and called for reform and innovation in global governance based on evidence and the best science available.

Seven (41%) of the 17 T7 recommendations were realized in the 315 commitments made by the Charlevoix Summit as identified by the G7 Research Group (see Table 1). All seven were partially, rather than fully, realized, giving the match, and thus the apparent T7 influence, a strength of 23%. T7 influence appeared in all but one, or 80%, of the five subject areas it made recommendations on, with the best match on human development and a fair tax system at 50% each, and the worst on progressive trade with no match at all.

Table 1: T7 Priority Commitments

Issue Number of recommendations made Recommendations realized Degree of match
(average score)
Total Fully realized Partially Realized
Human development 3 3 (100%) 0 3 0 (50%)
Digital and data security 4 1 (25%) 0 1 −0.75 (13%)
Progressive trade agenda 4 0 0 0 −1 (0%)
Sustainable growth 4 2 (50%) 0 2 −0.50 (25%)
Fair tax system 2 1 (50%) 0 1 −0.25 (50%)
Total/Average by issue 17 7 (41%) 0 7 −0.55 (23%)

Note: Table shows the number of priority recommendations made by the T7 in 2018 to the G7 in the lead-up to the Charlevoix Summit on June 8-9, 2018, by thematic area. It shows the number and percentage of recommendations realized in the official documents produced in the leaders' name at the summit. It also shows the average score for the degree of match or the average score of the recommendations realized. Recommendations realized: total includes both those that were partially and fully realized; fully realized = the number of recommendation fully realized of the total; partially realized = the number of recommendations partially realized of the total.


Recommendations realized reports identify the impact of policy recommendations made to G7 and G20 leaders by formal and informal engagement groups and others offering advice in the lead-up to the annual G7 and G20 summits. They do so by matching the recommendations made by a given institution, organization or individual, such as the T7, with the collective, precise, future-oriented, politically binding commitments the G7/20 leaders make in the official summit documents they produce.

They use a method pioneered by the University of Toronto's Global Governance Program, first applied to summits on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) convened in 2007, 2011 and 2014 (Kirton et al. 2014). It has since been applied to recommendations made in the G7/20 "background books" published by the G7 Research Group and G20 Research Group, the Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance, the Think 20 (T20) in 2017 and now to the T7 (see Appendix A).

In the simplified version employed in this report, each recommendation is given a score on a three-point scale. A score of −1 indicates no match with a summit commitment, a score of 0 indicates a partial match and a score of +1 indicates a full match. The following explanation of the assessment of the degree of match can also be applied to scoring how summit commitments match with a other summit commitments, rather than recommendations, on the same three-point scale (i.e., does the leaders' commitment fully, partially or not match with a previous recommendation, or summit commitment?).

Methodology for Degree of Match

Full Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of +1, all components of that recommendation must match at least one commitment. It is not required that all components of the recommendation are found in a single commitment: a full match can occur if all components of the recommendation are realized across more than one commitment.

For example, in 2017 the T20's task force on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development made a recommendation to the G20 ahead of its Hamburg Summit on July 7-8, 2017, for the G20 to "lead global cooperation through both protection and restoration measures for coastal and marine ecosystems and a careful approach to sustainable exploitation of marine resources." Parts of this recommendation were realized across several commitments the G20 made in the Hamburg Action Plan on Marine Litter. These included, but were not limited to

Partial Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of 0 for a partial match only one or some of its components need to be realized in any number of commitments. For example, the T20's task force on digitalization recommended that the G20 "measure and standardize digital literacy across the G20." This recommendation was partially realized in the following commitment:

No Match

In order for a recommendation to receive a score of −1 for a non-match, either no part of the recommendation matches any commitment made or there is no match with the core focus of the recommendation. For example, the T20 task force on climate policy and finance recommended that the G20 "use transformative sovereign wealth funds to leverage climate protection investments and support workers, regions and sectors in adjusting to structural change driven by decarbonization by adopting proactive employment, training, and industrial policies." Although the G20 at Hamburg made 57 environment and 22 climate change commitments, none of these referenced sovereign wealth funds.


A more complex matching analysis, developed and used for the NCD summit evaluation, also charts the breadth of the match, according to the number of commitments containing all the components in the recommendation or commitment from another summit. Further work could measure: a) the novelty of the match and the overall innovation-iteration balance, i.e., was the matched recommendation repeating one previously made by the same source?; b) reverse influence, i.e., did the recommendation largely repeat a commitment made by a previous summit? And c) the distinctiveness of the match, i.e., was the matched recommendation also made by other engagement groups, sources or individuals?

T7 Recommendations and Degree of Match Analysis

Human Development

N = 3; average = 0

This recommendation is partially realized. While a few Charlevoix commitments link education and STEM (i.e., 2018-32), none link education-STEM with social sciences, humanities or the arts.

This recommendation has two components:

The average of the first and second components of this recommendation is 0.50. This recommendation is therefore, overall, a partial match with the Charlevoix commitments and receives a 0 on the three-point scale.

On refugees: At Charlevoix the G7 made one core commitment on migration and refugees. This was a pledge to "coordinate efforts to build lasting peace and support democratic transition in Myanmar, particularly in the context of the ongoing Rohingya crisis" (2018-50). It also made one related commitment, explicitly referencing refugees, committing to "promote…education opportunities and learning outcomes for refugees including in host and source communities" (2018-172). On education the G7 also made three other commitments supporting refugee girls and women, and internally displaced peoples (2018-171, 173, 174). The G7 made several other regional security, terrorism, human rights, democracy and sustainable development commitments, including for the Middle East and Africa, which if realized are recognized to have a positive effect on mitigating large refugee flows by providing stability and economic security allowing people to stay home rather than migrate/flee. However, no commitments were made in reference to the refugee crises in Latin America (see Venezuela, Mexico), to the top refugee-hosting countries in the world (see Turkey, Uganda, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran[1]) or to East Asia. Further, no commitments were made regarding climate or disaster refugees (since 2016 21.5 million people are displaced on average annually. This is expected to increase.[2]) As this recommendation is broad and subject to some interpretation, this analysis concludes that as the G7 has acknowledged and shared responsibility for the Rohingya crisis and has agreed to ensure access to education for refugees, it has acknowledged and shared responsibility for some but not a significant amount of the challenges posed by current and future refugee flows. This recommendation was therefore only somewhat or partially realized by the G7 at Charlevoix.

Digital and Data Security

N = 4; average = −0.75

Seven Charlevoix commitments reference "data" in the context of security/privacy/protection (2018-142, 143, 161, 162, 220, 230, 231). None commits to developing a country-level strategy for public data security and integrity. The closest such commitment seeks to "promot[e] research and development by industry in…data security" (143) and to "ensure AI [artificial intelligence] design and implementation respect and promote applicable frameworks for privacy and personal data protection" (163). An additional commitment on "digital security in AI" also seeks to support industry to "develop…voluntary codes of conduct, standards or guidelines and the sharing of best practices." While no commitment was made on developing a data security strategy, two commitments linked data security with electoral systems (implicitly) (see 2018-230, 231).

Moreover, on linking data security to both securing electoral systems, several commitments, categorized under the "democracy" issue area and found in the "Charlevoix Commitment on Defending Democracy from Foreign Threats," could apply. For example, commitment 2018-226 commits the G7 to "establish a G7 Rapid Response Mechanism to strengthen [their] coordination to identify and respond to diverse and evolving threats to our democracies, including through sharing information and analysis, and identifying opportunities for coordinated response." Interference in the electoral process via hacking of the digital space is assumed to be included in the scope of "diverse and evolving threats to democracy."

Finally, no commitments mentioned data sharing between governments, or linked data security to CBRN non-proliferation. The Charlevoix commitments therefore addressed some but not all aspects of this recommendation. This recommendation therefore receives a 0 for a partial match.

No commitment was made at Charlevoix to adopt guidelines for cybersecurity. Two commitments referenced "cyber." One was one cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property rights, falling under the issue area of "trade," (see 2018-17). One commitment, with the overall goal to advance AI, was to invest in cybersecurity (see 2018-141). Two commitments referenced the "malicious use of information technology by foreign actors" (see 2018-230, 231). Eighteen commitments were made in the "Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts." Cybercrime issues addressed in this document centre on violence against women, especially girls. This includes addressing macro-aggressions such as human trafficking (see 2018-222), as well as eliminating micro-aggressions such as gender bias in the design of digital platforms and technologies (see 2018-223). One commitment (in the same document) states the G7 will "work together to improve [their] responses to…the criminal use of online platforms and connected technologies" (2018-220), while others commit the G7 to work with or mobilize the private sector and industry to tackle violence in the digital sphere.

On democracy, the G7 committed to "support public learning and civic awareness aimed at improving online security and safety" (see 2018-233). Also, the G7 committed to "engage directly" with internet service providers and social media platforms "regarding the malicious misuse of information technology by foreign actors" (see 2018-230 and 231, respectively). The G7 therefore addressed specific cybercrimes — intellectual property theft, gender/human rights violations and threats to democracy. It also made commitments to work with/mobilize/collaborate with industry and the private sector (assumed to refer to tech-related industry/private sector), and social media platforms to address the specific cybercrimes highlighted above. It did not, however, mention cyber forensics or the development of synergies with tech companies to enhance attribution of cybercrime. No commitment addressed attribution of cybercrime. Moreover, no agreement was made to adopt or to work towards the adoption of guidelines for cybersecurity. Thus while there was some focus by the G7 at Charlevoix on cybersecurity, no part of this recommendation was clearly addressed in the form of a commitment. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

Of the commitments on data security highlighted in recommendations 4 and 5, none reference data integrity, including those that seek to work with the private sector. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

While some commitments on data security seek to educate the wider public, none agree to support universities to this end. Moreover, no commitment mentions cyber/data hygiene. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

Progressive Trade Agenda

N = 4; average = −1

At Charlevoix the G7 made five core trade commitments (2018-13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Two other commitments, categorized under the issues of information and communications technology (ICT) (2018-162) and environment (2018-267) also referenced trade. None agreed to conduct periodic assessments of the impact of trade on countries. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

At Charlevoix the G7 made five core trade commitments (2018-13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Two other commitments, categorized under the issues of ICT (2018-162) and environment (2018-267) also referenced trade. Two of these commitments referenced technology. One committed the G7 to "work together to enforce existing international rules and develop new rules where needed to foster a truly level playing field, addressing in particular non-market oriented policies and practices, and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, such as forced technology transfer or cyber-enabled theft" (see 2018-17). The other sought to "support an open and fair market environment including the free flow of information, while respecting applicable frameworks for privacy and data protection for AI innovation by addressing discriminatory trade practices, such as forced technology transfer [etc.]" (see 2018-162). Neither of these commitments address the impacts of technology on trade, the environment or society. Neither identify excluded groups. No commitment was made to establish a working group. This recommendation therefore receives a score of −1 for a non-match.

At Charlevoix the G7 made five core trade commitments (2018-13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Two other commitments, categorized under the issues of ICT (2018-162) and environment (2018-267) also referenced trade. None elaborated or expanded on recent major free trade agreements. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

At Charlevoix the G7 made five core trade commitments (2018-13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Two other commitments, categorized under the issues of ICT (2018-162) and environment (2018-267) also referenced trade. None linked trade with gender. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

Sustainable Growth

N = 4; average = −0.50

One commitment referenced the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (2018-262). It centred on building public-private partnerships to identify vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. As part of this commitment the G7 stated that "a key effort will be the implementation of unique vessel identification of the [IMO] for all eligible vessels fishing on the high seas." No reference was made to the IMO's recent strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry, and no reference was made to decarbonizing the shipping sector generally. This recommendation therefore receives a −1 for a non-match.

At Charlevoix the "G7 Ocean Plastics Charter" was released. It produced 39 commitments. Neither the U.S. or Japan signed the Plastics Charter. Three commitments in the charter referenced infrastructure (2018-280, 296, 297). None of these specified coastal infrastructure. Also in the Plastics Charter was a section on "coastal and shoreline action," with four commitments (2018-312, 313, 314, 315). All centred on cleaning existing debris from coastal areas or committed to implementing the G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter contained in the annex to the G7 leaders' declaration from the 2015 Elmau Summit.[3] None of these commitments mentions infrastructure, nor does the 2015 G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter.

However, in the "Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities" all G7 members, including the U.S. and Japan, made several commitments regarding resilient coasts and coastal communities. Three of these commitments are on coastal infrastructure. The first seeks to encourage the development of coastal management strategies to better able the rebuilding of natural and physical infrastructure (2018-242). In the second, the G7 agreed that these efforts will include developing "quality infrastructure in coasts and coastal communities" including deploying clean and resilient energy systems from renewable sources (2018-243). The third states: "Where appropriate, we will advocate for and support nature-based solutions, such as the protection and rehabilitation of wetlands, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs" (2018-244). The welfare target of this commitment is to "support better adaptation planning, emergency preparedness and recovery" rather than to reduce plastic waste. As half of this recommendation was realized, it receives a score of 0 for a partial match.

At Charlevoix the leaders made one core infrastructure commitment and 10 related infrastructure commitments. Of these, two commit to "catalyzing investments" to address marine litter, in particular by developing waste management infrastructure and wastewater infrastructure, respectively (2018-296, 297). Both commitments sought to mobilize public-private funding to achieve this, rather than funding from multilateral development banks. This recommendation therefore receives a score of 0 for a partial match.

The G7 at Charlevoix did not reiterate its commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This recommendation therefore receives a score of −1 for a non-match.

Fair Tax Systems 

N = 2; average = −0.25

At Charlevoix 10 commitments referenced tax, falling under the issues of macroeconomic policy, crime and corruption, labour and employment, and development (2018-9, 10, 11, 12, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 121). The closest commitments to this recommendation are 2018-9 and 104. Commitment 9 states: "In order to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, we will exchange approaches and support international efforts to deliver fair, progressive, effective and efficient tax systems." Commitment 104 states the G7 will "share approaches and support global efforts to make the tax system fair to everyone." Neither commitment elaborates on the definition of "fair" or "unfair," and neither mentions tax competition or a global minimum corporate tax rate. This recommendation therefore receives a score of −1 for a non-match.

Of the 10 tax related commitments highlighted above, one addresses sustainable growth. It commits the G7 to "continue to work on tax capacity building to advance sustainable development (2018-106). It does not explicitly bind the G7 to work together or cooperate to this end, nor does it seek to identify or take new opportunities to facilitate sustainable growth via international taxation. This recommendation therefore receives a 0 for a partial match.

Appendix A

Year Report Recommendations made Recommendations realized
2016 G20 China background book recommendations to G20 Hangzhou Summit 66 68%
2016 T20 recommendations to G20 Hangzhou Summit 89 26%
2017 G7 Italy background book recommendations to G7 Taormina Summit 66 56%
2018 T7 recommendations to G7 Charlevoix Summit 17 41%


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[1] Figures at a Glance, Statistical Yearbooks, UN Refugee Agency, N.D. Accessed: 19 June 2018. http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html.

[2] Climate Change and Disasters, Un Refugee Agency, N.D. Accessed: 19 June 2018. http://www.unhcr.org/climate-change-and-disasters.html.

[3] Annex to the Leaders' Declaration, G7 Summit, 7-8 June 2015. G8 Research Group. Accessed: 20 June 2018. http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/summit/2015elmau/2015-G7-annex-en.pdf.

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