G7 Leaders Take On Covid And Climate
Carbis Bay, United Kingdom, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Jun, 2021 ) :G7 leaders on Saturday confronted the threat of future pandemics as the elite club of wealthy nations advertised a newfound Western unity at its first physical summit since 2019.
After an informal evening get-together -- featuring a Royal Air Force aerobatics display, beach barbecue, firepit marshmallows and a Cornish troupe singing sea shanties -- the leaders were to wrap up their three-day summit on Sunday.
At their concluding session in Cornwall, southwest England, US President Joe Biden and his colleagues were set to promise more financial support for developing countries on the sharp edge of climate change.
Such action was unthinkable under former president Donald Trump, but Biden is touting a message of revived US leadership on his first foreign tour.
Asked if other G7 leaders agreed with him about a US diplomatic renaissance, Biden pointed to Macron, who replied: "Definitely." - 'Build back better' - Promising to "collectively catalyse" hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries, the G7 leaders said they would offer a "values-driven, high-standard and transparent" partnership.
Britain meanwhile hailed G7 agreement on the "Carbis Bay Declaration" -- a series of commitments to curb future pandemics after Covid-19 wrecked economies and claimed millions of lives around the world.
The collective steps include slashing the time taken to develop and license vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for any future disease to under 100 days, while reinforcing global surveillance networks.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesuswelcomed the health pact.
"We welcome the generous announcement made by G7 nations about donations of vaccines but we need more and we need them faster," he told reporters. "Immediate donations are vital." Aid charity Oxfam said the declaration "does nothing to address the fundamental problems that are preventing vaccines being accessible to the vast majority of humanity".
- 'Concrete action' - The G7 was joined Saturday by the leaders of Australia, South Africa and South Korea, with India taking part remotely, for a wide-ranging discussion about foreign policy challenges.
Most of the G7 leaders will reconvene Monday in Brussels for a NATO meeting, before Biden heads on to his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, vowing to deliver a blunt message about Russian behaviour.
In a rare interview with US media released Friday, Putin voiced hope that Biden would be less impetuous than Trump, who notoriously sided with the Russian leader against the views of his own intelligence chiefs.