G7 leaders call for multilateralism and a green recovery from COVID-19
Arij Limam
The UK's Boris Johnson hosted the virtual G7 summit with COVID-19 vaccines and global recovery from the pandemic at the top of the agenda. /Geoff Pugh/Pool/AFP

The UK's Boris Johnson hosted the virtual G7 summit with COVID-19 vaccines and global recovery from the pandemic at the top of the agenda. /Geoff Pugh/Pool/AFP

The Group of Seven leaders (G7) met on Friday for the virtual summit in which COVID-19 vaccines and recovery from the pandemic were at the top of the agenda.

The UK's Boris Johnson hosted the meeting, which was also attended by the leaders of the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

"We, the leaders of the Group of Seven, met today and resolved to work together to beat COVID-19 and build back better," the group said in a statement.

"Drawing on our strengths and values as democratic, open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet," they added.



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The leaders vowed a new chapter for global cooperation at their first summit since U.S. President Joe Biden succeeded the isolationist Donald Trump.

Also in their call for increased cooperation, the leaders reiterated the need to work together on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen and support the World Health Organization (WHO) in increasing manufacturing capacity through licensing, and promoting information sharing and transparency.

The leaders reaffirmed their support for the United Nations' COVAX scheme to ensure affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, reflecting the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.

"Today, with increased financial commitments of over $4 billion to ACT-A and COVAX, collective G7 support totals $7.5 billion," the leaders said.

They added that COVID-19 showed the world the need for stronger defenses against future risks to global health security and the need for pandemic preparedness and exploring the potential value of a global health treaty.

"We have provided unprecedented support for our economies over the past year totaling over $6 trillion across the G7," the statement read.

"We reaffirm our support to the most vulnerable countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and our partnership with Africa, including to support a resilient recovery," it added.

The leaders also addressed the need for promoting economic resilience through harnessing the digital economy and cooperating on a modernized, freer and fairer rules-based multilateral trading system with a reformed World Trade Organization at its center, and "strive to reach a consensus-based solution on international taxation by mid-2021 within the framework of the OECD."

"With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system for all people, we will engage with others, especially G20 countries including large economies such as China," the leaders said.

Climate change and a green recovery was also mentioned by the leaders, who said: "Recovery from COVID-19 must build back better for all. Looking to UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15, we will put our global ambitions on climate change and the reversal of biodiversity loss at the center of our plans."

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