Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers are holding their first meeting of 2021 on Friday, and vowing to share coronavirus vaccines with the world’s poorest countries — though details of how soon and how much they will give remain scarce.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, which holds the G-7 presidency this year, is meeting virtually with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States to discuss international challenges — chief among them the pandemic that has killed almost 2.5 million people around the world.
Wealthy nations have snapped up hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines against the virus, while some countries in the developing world have little or none.
Johnson, whose country has had almost 120,000 coronavirus deaths, will promise to give “the majority of any future surplus vaccines” to the U.N.-backed COVAX effort to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable people, and will encourage other G-7 countries to do the same, the British government said.
But Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said it was is “difficult to say with any kind of certainty” when or how much Britain could donate.
“We’re not really able to give with certainty either a timescale or the numbers involved,” he told the BBC.
For Johnson, the G-7 presidency is a chance to demonstrate Britain is still a key global player following its exit from the EU, which became complete at the end of 2020.
A full G-7 summit is scheduled to take place in June at the Carbis Bay seaside resort in southwest England.-AP