Britain hosts 47th G7 summit
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the G7 Summit in Cornwall on Friday with a message for the world leaders to “learn lessons” from the pandemic and warned that it is vital not to repeat mistakes of the “the last big economic recession of 2008” when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.
The club of leading economies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — say a joint approach is the world’s best chance for recovering from the global health crisis, and tackling climate change.
At the start of the G7 Summit, the UK announced that they will be donating 100 million surplus COVID-19 vaccines to the world. Eighty percent of the doses will go to the COVAX initiative and will be distributed as they see fit. The remaining 20 percent will be distributed bilaterally to countries in need. The upcoming weeks will see the UK give out five million doses till the end of September. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged to provide an additional 95 million doses in the coming year, with another 25 million by the end of 2021.
This comes a day after US President Joe Biden announced that the US will donate 500 million vaccine doses.
“We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners,” Biden said.
India, invited as a guest country along with South Africa, Australia and South Korea, will be participating virtually, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address three breakout sessions over Saturday and Sunday.
“I actually think that this is a meeting that genuinely needs to happen because we need to make sure we learn lessons from the pandemic. We need to make sure we don’t repeat some of the errors that we have made in the course of the last 18 months or so and we put in place what is needed to allow our economies to recover,” Johnson said in his opening remarks.
On the sidelines of the summit, Johnson has been conducting a host of bilateral engagements, including talks with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.