BIDEN MEETS JOHNSON: As the UK pledged to donate 100 million surplus covid vaccines
Boris Johnson has urged leaders from the world’s most powerful democracies to make the world “fairer, greener and more prosperous” following the coronavirus pandemic.
It follows Joe Biden meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson as they reiterated the so-called special relationship, explaining how productive the meeting had been.
And as newly Weds the Johnsons met the Biden’s it was all smiles on this trip to Cornwall, the first overseas visit for President Biden - as it strengthened the bond between the historic nations - a change the PM says from the previous administration.
The visit - part of the G7 meeting for 2021 in Cornwall also received a royal seal of approval, as Prince Charles met with business leaders focusing on how CEOs can boost their climate credentials - with fashion icon Stella McCartney too in attendance too.
As a result of early talks, The UK has said it will donate at least 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses to countries in need within the next year, beginning in the coming weeks.
Boris Johnson will urge leaders from the world’s most powerful democracies to make the world “fairer, greener and more prosperous” after the coronavirus pandemic.
The response to coronavirus looks set to dominate the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, with the Prime Minister seeking an “open and co-operative” approach rather than the “every man for himself” situation when Covid-19 hit.
In the meeting, which starts on Friday, the leaders will also consider issues including climate change – ahead of the UK hosting the United Nations Cop26 summit in November – and promoting democratic values in a world where communist China is a major power.
But despite his intentions to focus on his “Global Britain” project, Mr Johnson will be drawn into rows over Brexit, with talks scheduled with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Mario Draghi in the margins of the summit.
Mr Johnson has insisted he is not worried about the row over Northern Ireland’s trading rules overshadowing the summit, insisting a resolution to the dispute was “easily doable”, although so far neither London nor Brussels has managed that.
The Cornwall gathering will be the first face-to-face meeting of the G7 leaders for almost two years because of the pandemic, and it will be Joe Biden’s debut at the forum.
The US president will seek to rebuild relations which were strained under his predecessor Donald Trump – the summit in 2018 ended with the then president withdrawing his support for the joint communique and in 2019 he repeatedly called for Russia to be readmitted to the group.
The G7 brings together the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, along with representatives of the European Union.
The Prime Minister has also invited leaders from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea, to broaden the scope of the group – together the 11 leaders represent almost two-thirds of the people living in democracies around the world.
Downing Street said the UK’s G7 Summit will focus on applying the nations’ shared values and agreeing “concrete action” to improve global health and tackle climate change.
Mr Johnson has called for the group to commit to efforts to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 by the end of 2022.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The G7 Summit will be an opportunity to galvanise action on global vaccine access and demonstrate the value of international co-operation with the aim of vaccinating the world by the end of next year.
“As has been said before, no-one is safe until everyone is safe.
“It is also a chance to put in place measures to prevent an international catastrophe like the coronavirus pandemic from ever happening again.
“The Prime Minister will use the summit to establish a united approach to future pandemics that brings an end to the ‘every man for himself’ approach that marred the initial response to coronavirus.”
On Wednesday Mr Johnson admitted relations around the world had been “pretty scratchy” when the pandemic hit, with countries “squabbling” over supplies of personal protective equipment.
This summit presents an opportunity “to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous”, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.
The lead-up to the summit has seen Mr Johnson face a row with Tories over his decision to cut aid spending from 0.7% of income to 0.5%, but the Prime Minister has insisted the UK is still spending £10 billion a year “at a time of acute financial difficulty for this country”.
Mr Johnson’s spokesman highlighted the work the UK was doing through the Covax initiative to supply vaccines around the world, as he stressed Britain was a “problem-solving and burden-sharing nation with a global perspective”.
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