G7 leaders will sign an agreement that is aimed at preventing another pandemic like Covid-19 from happening again. The group who is meeting face to face for the first time since 2019, at a beachside venue in Cornwall, southwest England, after the coronavirus led to the cancellation of last year's summit, consisting of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, joined by leaders of Australia, South Africa and South Korea, along with India taking part remotely.
The Carbis Bay declaration will include commitments to step up research into zoonotic diseases, which jump from animals to humans. The UK will establish an animal vaccine manufacturing and innovation centre at The Pirbright Institute in Surrey, expected to be up and running next year. They will also try to showcase Western democratic cohesion against a resurgent China and recalcitrant Russia. The G7 leaders opened the three-day summit Friday with expectations of a pledge to donate one billion vaccine doses to poor countries this year and next. US President Joe Biden arrived with a message of solidarity and resolve in stark contrast to the isolationist stance of his predecessor Donald Trump.
The G7 this weekend will also tackle climate change, and safeguarding global biodiversity, to lay the groundwork for the UN's pivotal COP26 environmental summit in Scotland in November. The leaders are debating a pledge to protect at least 30 per cent of the world's land and oceans by 2030.
On foreign policy, the group seek to tackle this year's coup in Myanmar, a crackdown on pro-democracy supporters in Belarus and tensions with Russia and China. Most of the leaders will reconvene on Monday in Brussels for a NATO meeting, before Biden heads on to his first summit with President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, vowing to deliver a blunt message about Russian behaviour.
The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War. China in 1979 had an economy that was smaller than Italy’s, but after opening to foreign investment and introducing market reforms, it has become the world’s second-largest economy and is a global leader in a range of new technologies. The G7 want to show the world that the richest democracies can offer an alternative to China's growing clout. The U.S. official said until now, the West had failed to offer a positive alternative to the "lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach" of the Chinese government that had left many countries worse off.
The G7 is expected to finalise the "Carbis Bay Declaration" comprising a series of commitments to prevent a repeat of the devastation wreaked by the coronavirus. The declaration will be published Sunday alongside the G7's final communique.
The G7 leaders are also expected to outline more help for developing nations to build up infrastructure, as a counterpoint to the debt-fuelled spending by China in Africa, Asia and Latin America.