DG Azevêdo participated in the lunch discussion on 'Fighting Inequalities' together with the G7 leaders (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union), and the heads of the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. At the debate, DG Azevêdo said:
"Fighting inequalities concerns the entire global community. The French G7 Presidency's focus on this issue is very important. Domestic policies, including on education, reskilling and retraining displaced workers, as well as infrastructure, are vital to help people adapt to the economy of the 21st century and promote inclusivity. Trade can also play an important part here.
"There is a lot that can be done in the trading system to improve inclusiveness and promote a wider distribution of the benefits of trade and of the modern economy. WTO members are discussing precisely that through a number of initiatives and debates. The reform of the WTO provides an opportunity to focus the agenda of work on issues that make trade and trade rules more responsive to the demands of today's economy in an inclusive way. This includes current discussions on sectors that ensure the livelihood of millions of vulnerable citizens around the world, such as agriculture and fisheries. Other areas with great potential include e-commerce, initiatives to help small enterprises, women's economic empowerment, and investments.
"Progress on these fronts would go a long way in helping the marginalized segments in modern societies. We must seize this momentum, and the leadership of the G7 is essential to move forward on all these issues. I look forward to continue working with all G7 members to safeguard and strengthen the system."