The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will host fellow G7 leaders for a virtual meeting on 19th February to discuss how the world’s leading democracies can work together to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines around the world, prevent future pandemics and build back better from coronavirus.
The meeting will be the first hosted by the PM as part of the UK’s G7 Presidency this year and the first gathering of G7 leaders since April 2020.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the meeting, which will also be US President Biden’s first major multilateral engagement, to call for leaders to work together on a joined-up global approach to pandemics that brings an end to the nationalist and divisive politics that marred the initial response to coronavirus.
He will argue that putting our citizens first should not come at the expense of working on a unified response and that the last twelve months of the pandemic have showed that no country can be safe until every country is safe from the pandemic.
The rollout of vaccines offers a fresh opportunity to demonstrate the value of international cooperation.
International pandemic preparedness will be a major priority for the UK’s G7 Presidency and the Prime Minister will work with fellow G7 leaders to implement his five-point plan to prevent future pandemics announced at the UN General Assembly last year.
The five-point plan includes a worldwide network of zoonotic research hubs, developing global manufacturing capacity for treatments and vaccines, the design of a global pandemic early warning system, the agreement of global protocols for a future health emergency, and the reduction of trade barriers.
There have already been positive steps to ensure equitable access to a coronavirus vaccine.
Last month the US announced it would join the COVAX initiative, becoming the final G7 country to do so.
COVAX will provide developing countries with 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine this year and the UK is providing £548m to the scheme.