The first in-person G7 summit since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic concluded on Sunday with leaders of G7 – the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and France - vowing to present a unified front against a range of global challenges and pledging support on a diverse set of initiatives.
The joint communiqué on the final of the three-day summit in the UK’s southwestern city of Cornwall underlined commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism and global unity in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the key pledges from the G7 summit:
The G7 has pledged to share one billion vaccine doses over the next 12 months with poor countries. G7 countries said they will deliver 870 million - out of which the US has promised 500 million doses, 100 million will come from Britain, Canada would provide 100 million doses, and France pledged 60 million – with further donations the total contribution will reach over one billion.
Most of the promised doses will be supplied directly or through COVAX, the UN-backed scheme charged with distributing vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
"I am very pleased to announce that this weekend leaders have pledged over 1 billion doses, either directly or through funding to COVAX. That includes 100 million from the UK, to the world's poorest countries, which is another big step toward vaccinating the world," CNN quoted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as saying.
The communiqué issued by the summit also talks about the plans to reduce roadblocks to production in Africa and would engage constructively on the issue of intellectual property waivers in discussions at the World Trade Organization. There was also a commitment to build the frameworks to prevent and fight future pandemics.
Although the pledge from the wealthy nations to donate vaccine doses is a much-needed boost to COVAX, however, it still falls short of the 11 billion doses the World Health Organization said is needed to vaccinate at least 70% of the world's population and truly end the pandemic. At the same time, the global pledge does not address distribution gaps that could make it difficult to deliver doses.
The G7 nations have also agreed to a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15 per cent to stop corporations from using tax havens to avoid taxes. According to the agreement, the world’s largest corporations will also have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and commit to a 15 per cent minimum corporate tax of at least 15 per cent on a country by country basis. The G7 hopes to reach a final agreement in the G20 meeting in Italy next month.
The G7 nations called on China to respect human rights in the Xinjiang region, where Beijing is accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority and to restore a higher degree of autonomy in Hong Kong.
The G7 joint communiqué said: “we will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.”
The leaders also said they will work together to challenge China’s “non-market economic practices” and demanded a more transparent study on the origins of Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, China hit back at Group of Seven leaders and accused the G7 nations of “political manipulation”.
“The Group of Seven takes advantage of Xinjiang-related issues to engage in political manipulation and interfere in China's internal affairs, which we firmly oppose," a Chinese embassy in the UK said in a statement on Monday.
On climate change. the G7 renewed a pledge to raise their contributions to meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions. The countries also promised to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.
The US rallied the richest world democracies to for Build Back Better World Initiative which offers financing for infrastructure from railways in Africa to wind farms in Asia to help speed up the global shift to renewable energy. All G-7 countries have pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The G7 nations also demanded Russia take action against those conducting cyberattacks and using ransomware from within its borders and investigate the use of chemical weapons within its territory.
“We call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil, to end its systematic crackdown on independent civil society and media, and to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes,”