/ 24 June 2022

Summiting across 3 big meetings

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

We’re not sure what the collective noun is for several summits, but there’s a flurry of ‘em in the coming days involving heavy-hitting global leaders. Maybe a colloquy of summits? Anyway… First up is CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda, followed by the G7 in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, and then it’s onto NATO in Madrid, Spain.

It’s the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – but PM Anthony Albanese isn’t attending the get-together tomorrow. He’s one of 19 out of 54 leaders giving it a miss – and that’s raised some eyebrows because it’s Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Mind you, she isn’t going either – Prince Charles is head (aka the patron) of the Commonwealth. Australia’s rep is Deputy PM Richard Marles – he said he’s looking forward to talking about “promoting democratic values and human rights, action on climate change, and sustainable and resilient health systems”. This meeting has been pitched as an opportunity to focus on Africa – something UK Boris Johnson could find uncomfortable… On top of his leadership issues, he’s fending off criticism for a new policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda –  reports say Prince Charles reckons the plan is “appalling”. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the pair meet in Rwanda today…

So the G7 leader’s summit is a 3-day extravaganza starting on Sunday that will be dominated by one issue – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After that, China’s “coercive economic practices” are on the minds of the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. They will then head to Madrid for Wednesday/Thursday’s NATO summit that brings together the leaders of Western European and North American countries who are members of Russian Vladimir Putin’s least favourite security alliance. A plan to expand NATO’s forces in eastern Europe is expected to be approved. PM Albanese’s going to that one (and then he’s going to France to reset the relationship…) – he and his counterparts from Japan, South Korea and New Zealand get a guernsey for the first time to show that concern about Russia’s actions extends beyond the region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will virtually address both summits. And there’s no need to worry about China and Russia feeling left out – they did their own thing overnight

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