Leaders of the G7 superpowers (Image: Getty Images)
The leaders of the G7 superpowers showed a united front on Friday, at the start of their summit in England, to put the world back on its feet after the pandemic, by initially sharing one billion Covid-19 vaccines.
As the pandemic obligates, heads of state and government have pushed each other and stood at a distance to take the traditional family photo, on the beach of the English resort of Carbis Bay, in Cornwall.
This meeting scheduled through Sunday, the first in person in nearly two years, allows for a return of business meetings, but also a clandestine sideshow to move forward in the crises of the moment.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “This is a meeting that really has to take place because we have to make sure that we learn the lessons of the pandemic and not repeat some mistakes.”
He hailed an “extraordinary opportunity” for superpowers to “learn the lessons of the pandemic” and “build back better”, in a “greener” and “more equitable” way.
Joe Biden had already set the tone, suggesting that the summit marked a US “return” on the international stage after Donald Trump’s isolationist years. “I look forward to strengthening our commitment to multilateralism and working with our allies and partners to build a more just and inclusive global economy,” the US president said on Twitter.
It seeks to rally a united front among its partners against Russia and China, which have previously criticized the US desire to form “groups”.
After a round table and a commitment to educating girls, and before tasting gazpacho, roasted turbot, and British strawberry Pavlova between them, the leaders of the wealthy club were scheduled to meet around Queen Elizabeth II and the heir apparent. Charles at a reception at The Eden Project, huge greenhouses in Cornwall that serve as showcases for the planet’s plant diversity.
In the official program of the summit, there is above all the recovery of the global economy hit by the epidemic and the more equitable participation of vaccines against Covid by rich countries, which have monopolized the maximum doses at the expense of the poorest people.
In the face of growing calls for solidarity, leaders must agree to provide “at least one billion doses” with the goal of “ending the pandemic in 2022,” according to Downing Street.
The US has already promised 500 million doses and the British 100 million, mainly through the Covax sharing device.
To a large extent insufficient, he regrets NGOs calling for the suspension of patents on vaccines in order to allow mass production.
Another priority is the climate emergency ahead of the major United Nations climate conference (COP26) scheduled for November in Scotland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims for a “green industrial revolution” with the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
To preserve biodiversity, he wants the Group of Seven nations to commit to protecting “at least 30%” of land and oceans by this deadline.
The Club of Seven is also expected to encourage investment in green infrastructure in developing countries to stimulate and decarbonize their economies.
Ahead of the summit, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden on Thursday showed a united front on the climate emergency, agreeing to a new “Atlantic Charter” to celebrate the historic alliance between their countries.
They have put aside tensions over Northern Ireland, at the center of the post-Brexit dispute between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
European leaders, for their part, plan to remind Boris Johnson of their attachment to the signed agreements, which London wants to question in the face of the anger prevailing in the British boycott, during a meeting on Saturday. According to local police, 3,000 people demonstrated in Belfast on Thursday night against the new post-Brexit arrangements.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson stressed that the leader did not necessarily seek a solution in the G7, but would remind them of the “challenges” posed by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
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