The Civil 7 Summit (C7) took place this Wednesday July 3rd at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) in Paris following a dialogue with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Officially created in 2000 on the occasion of the Okinawa Summit in Japan, C7 brings together international solidarity actors and civil society organisations from the G7 Member states. It was important for the Foundation to attend the needs assessments of the civil society organisations attending the Summit, to better target the research themes formulated in our call for applications.

The French Presidency of the G7, which will take place from 24 to 26 August in the city of Biarritz, made the wish to focus on fighting inequalities through several dimensions: education, health, environment, gender equality, nutrition, security and tax justice. Among these dimensions, education, health and nutrition are at the heart of the French Red Cross mandate, and are central research themes supported by the French Red Cross Foundation.

The Summit began with speeches from Mr Patrick Bernasconi, President of the CESE, Mr Philippe Jahshan, President of Coordination Sud (the organisation that leads the C7 during the French Presidency) and Ms Fanny Petitbon, Advocacy Officer of the NGO Care France.

The beginning of the Summit called into question the ability of the G7 -which is no longer made up of the world’s seven major economic powers due to the growth of China and India- to engage in the fight against inequalities. The role of the G7 in the fight against inequalities, particularly in education and health, was the main topic of this meeting, which was organised around 3 panels.

The current answer to development challenges in the areas of health and education has been analysed on the statement that children’s right to access care and education is often compromised in a crisis context. Joëlle Sicamois, Executive Director of the NGO Un enfant par la main, reminded us that 50% of the refugees in the world are children.

Some issues at the intersection of health and education were raised. For example, the lack of sanitary infrastructures in schools as a barrier to the education of young girls during menstruation was mentioned by Christopher Castle, head of UNESCO’s Department of Health and Education.

Then, measures to be adopted in the fight against inequalities were discussed. Marisol Touraine, President of Unitaid and former French Minister of Health, took the example of Unitaid’s action on reducing the price of medicines. Indeed, in the United States, a treatment against AIDS costs about $10,000 per year, while it costs only $70 per year for African patients who benefit from Unitaid’s mission.

The funding of those actions was the last topic of the meeting. Currently, funding continues to increase but the question remains as to how it should be distributed and how to build a public health system that is accessible to the largest number of people. Access to health care remains an issue in all countries, including those of the G7.

Read the C7 recommendations for solutions to global inequalities

Photo above: Mr Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Mr Philippe Jashan, President of Coordination Sud

Photo credit: @Coordination SUD