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Conflict, AI and the pope: the G7 meets in Italy

From Jane Wardell   
Editorial Events Editor  

Attention this week turns to Italy – specifically to the beautiful southern region of Puglia, where leaders are meeting for a Group of Seven (G7) summit. The gathering of the seven industrial democracies takes place against the backdrop of ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East, and growing concerns about the rise of AI.

Sources have told Reuters colleagues that Italy plans to use its presidency of the G7 this year to boost support for Ukraine, bolster Africa development and scrutinize AI. To that end, they’ve invited a special guest to join them in the resort of Borgo Egnazia – Pope Francis. The pontiff has warned against the “perverse” dangers of AI and called for worldwide regulations to harness its use for the common good.

The G7 – the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – is also seeking to broaden the June 13-15 gathering beyond the core seven members. The group has invited leaders from Turkey, Argentina, the UAE and several African and South American countries as it looks to shift away from perceptions it is an elite club of wealthy nations and to shore up support for its stance on critical issues like Ukraine and relations with China. Adding some potential controversy, sources have also told colleagues that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may attend.

As for what we expect to come from the meeting? That remains to be seen. A two-day meeting of the G7 finance ministers in the lakeside town of Stresa last month resulted in an agreement to explore ways to use future income from frozen Russian assets to boost funding for war-torn Ukraine – but offered no details of how to do so.

Coming up NEXT: 

  • Reuters NEXT Newsmaker with Constellation Energy CEO Joseph Dominguez, June 11. Register for the livestream of this event, in partnership with LSEG, here.
  • Reuters NEXT Newsmaker with ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane, June 17. Lane will discuss a new era of central banking as the global economy shifts gears. Register for the livestream of this event, in partnership with LSEG, here.    
  • Reuters NEXT APAC, July 9. Our inaugural NEXT summit in Asia takes place in Singapore.

Speakers include DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta, Singapore Exchange CEO Loh Boon Chye, Alibaba Vice-President Kaifu Zhang, Google CTO Chief Partner Renee Lo, CDL CSO Esther An, Grab CTO Suthen Thomas Paradatheth and MUFG Asia CEO Masakazu Osawa.

The one-day event will bring together around 350 people, while the livestream of the World Stage will reach millions more. To join viewers from around the world, register here.

A note that the Reuters NEXT Newsmaker with Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt, flagged in my last newsletter, has been postponed. Look out for a new date for that interview.

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Happy reading, and catch you again in a couple of weeks.      



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