Trudeau headed for G7 summit in Italy. What’s on the agenda?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is headed to Italy on Wednesday to attend the annual G7 leaders’ summit, which is taking place as two major geopolitical conflicts weigh on the international community.

The three-day summit kicks off on Thursday in Apulia, Italy, where leaders of the seven wealthy democratic nations are expected to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war, Israel-Hamas conflict, the energy transition, artificial intelligence, migration and collaboration with Africa.

Trudeau is also set to attend the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland on Saturday and Sunday before flying back to Ottawa.

“It’s an unprecedentedly large, interconnected, complex and demanding agenda,” said John Kirton, a political-science professor who heads the G7 research group at the University of Toronto.

Leaders of G7 countries — Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Japan — meet annually to collaborate on shared goals.“In a world in which many international institutions have become paralyzed because of divisions, it is even more important for this group of like-minded democracies to be able to work together,” said Roland Paris, an international affairs professor at the University of Ottawa who previously served as a senior adviser to Trudeau.Among Canada’s top priorities at the summit will be the clean energy transition, misinformation and foreign interference, as well as artificial intelligence.

In a publication previewing the G7 leaders’ summit co-edited by Kirton, Trudeau emphasized the clean energy transition as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity that Canada along with our G7 partners are helping lead.”

Trudeau is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with other world leaders. Canada is set to host the G7 summit next year.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hosts this week’s summit as the most stable of the alliance’s European Union leaders, after her German and French counterparts were shaken by European parliamentary elections.

The results fortified Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy as the strongest party in the country, setting her up as a possible bridge-maker, if not kingmaker, in Europe.

As the host country, Italy is focusing the summit on defending the “rules-based international system.”

“Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide. The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for the global agenda,” the country’s G7 website said.

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