And hosts the resort of Cornwall, southwest of England, the summit of the leaders of the seven largest economies in the world, the first summit in nearly two years, amid tight security.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said – on the sidelines of the summit – that the lack of access to Corona vaccines by some countries of the world is one of the most important issues that concern the leaders of major countries.
Merkel expressed her concern about the failure of some poor countries to obtain a share of vaccines, stressing that discussing ways of cooperation to solve the problem will be one of the most important topics for discussion by leaders and leaders of the gathered countries.
Reuters quoted a source familiar with the G7 discussions, that the group’s leaders largely agreed on the need to continue to support their economies through fiscal stimulus.
The source said that the leaders believe that there must be long-term policies to ensure the soundness of public finances in the future, while the opinion about inflation was that the recent rise after exiting the closure measures in many countries will be temporary.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said – in a speech to the leaders of the group and the European Union as well – “I think it is really necessary to hold this meeting because we need to ensure that we learn the lessons of the pandemic, we need to ensure that we do not repeat some of the mistakes that we undoubtedly made during the 18 the past month or so.”
Johnson had said before the summit that his country would provide at least 100 million doses of its surplus vaccines to poor countries during the next year, including 5 million in the coming weeks.
After Britain faced criticism for its delay in making donations to poor countries, Johnson said in a statement yesterday: “As a result of the success of the UK vaccination programme, we are now in a position to share our surplus doses with those who need them.”
He added, “It is expected that world leaders will announce at the summit that they will provide at least one billion doses of vaccine for the Corona virus to the world through a program to share doses and funding, in addition to developing a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing in order to achieve this goal.”
About 80% of the vaccines will go to the COVAX initiative, which aims to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines around the world, with the rest shared bilaterally.
This came hours after US President Joe Biden pledged to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to 92 poor, low and middle income countries.
European Union countries have also agreed to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, with France and Germany each committing to provide 30 million doses.
And US Commerce Secretary Catherine Taye said yesterday that the Biden administration is working on several fronts to eliminate the pandemic, considering that this requires exceptional measures.
She added that those measures include donating 80 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, the other 500 million announced by Biden, and negotiations with the World Trade Organization to ensure limited intellectual property rights relief regarding vaccines.
The minister explained that this may take time given the complexities of the issues associated with this matter, and that the pandemic will not end until it is contained everywhere.
Germany, Britain and other allies of Washington, as well as business sectors in the United States, oppose loosening rules for compliance with intellectual property, but officials in the Biden administration say that this will help boost global production of Corona vaccines.