Leaders started the three-day event in the UK with global pandemic recovery high on the agenda, including a commitment to share 1 billion vaccine doses with poorer countries.
Western powers to push for global tax on corporations
G7 leaders are set to endorse a proposal by US President Joe Biden to impose a 15% minimum global tax on corporations, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
“America is rallying the world to make big multinational corporations pay their fair share so we can invest in our middle class at home,” Sullivan tweeted.
G7 finance ministers have already signaled their support to the plan. However, Biden is likely to face strong resistance at home while attempting to push the initiative through the US Congress.
Queen Elizabeth II hosts dinner reception
Queen Elizabeth II hosted the G7 leaders and their spouses at an evening reception and dinner closed to most media.
The Queen was joined by Prince Charles and Prince William at the reception held at Cornwall’s Eden Project, an environmental education center about 56 kilometers (72 miles) from the summit venue at Carbis Bay.
Japan says it expects G7 support for Olympics
The Japanese delegation to the G7 said it is “Japan’s expectation” that the other G7
countries share Japan’s determination that the Olympic Games in Tokyo go ahead as planned.
Tomoyuki Yoshida, press secretary at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, said G7 support for Japan’s “efforts” to hold the Games would be “encouraging.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signaled his support for holding the Games after a sit- down with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“The prime minister expressed his support for the Tokyo Olympics, and welcomed Japanese efforts to ensure the Games can take place safely,” a Downing Street spokesperson said after the meeting.
The 2021 Games are facing widespread resistance in Japan, as several prefectures continue to be under a state of emergency due to the high number of COVID cases.
‘Extinction rebellion’ climate activists hold protest parade
Several hundred Climate activists held a protest in St. Ives near the G7 summit.
Climate action group Extinction Rebellion are holding a second day of protests in #Cornwall, where leaders of the #G7 are meeting. Hundreds are gathered ahead of a march this afternoon. The day’s events are called “G is for Greenwashing”. pic.twitter.com/8koknSJy65— Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (@charlottejourno) June 12, 2021
Macron says 2021 G7 must be the “summit of action”
The French embassy in the UK released a statement from President Emmanuel Macron calling for “clear goals and and concrete commitments” to tackle global challenges.
We have a responsibility to set clear goals and make concrete commitments to meet the challenges of our time. This G7 must be one of action. I am glad to see you again, dear partners and friends. Let’s get to work, together. pic.twitter.com/1uZ1MWCre0— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 11, 2021
Joe Biden a ‘reliable ally’ for Europe
Radek Sikorski, head of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States, told DW that there is a certain amount of relief in Europe now that President Joe Biden is representing the US at the G7, instead of former President Donald Trump.
“We now have an honorable gentleman and a reliable ally. It doesn’t mean we’ll agree on everything, but it means that we can do things together,” Sikorski said.
“He doesn’t call the EU a foe, he doesn’t say that he trusts Vladimir Putin more than he trusts the FBI, and we no longer live in fear that he will dissolve NATO with an overnight tweet,” Sikorski added.
Johnson delivers opening statement as first formal discussion begins
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the first session of the summit by emphasizing that the G7’s economies have “the potential to bounce back very strongly” from the pandemic, but warned against repeating the mistakes of the 2008 economic crisis when “recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.”
“I think what’s gone wrong with this pandemic, or what risks being a lasting scar, is that inequalities may be entrenched. And we need to make sure that, as we recover, we level up across our societies and we rebuild back better,” Johnson told the G7 leaders.
Germany ready to help donate vaccines
Niels Annen, minister of state at the German Foreign Ministry, told DW that Germany is looking forward to working with the United States and other countries on organizing vaccine donations.
“We understand that we are not safe until the pandemic has been successfully dealt with on a global scale,” Annen said, adding that Germany will be able to vaccinate its own population while also donating doses.
“Every government has a responsibility to vaccinate and to take care of its own people,” Annen said, adding that it wouldn’t be a “contradiction” to be “a good neighbor” and be an important part of the COVAX global vaccine initiative.
Germany is one of the world’s biggest contributors to COVAX.
Annen also said that the EU and Germany were not following the approach of China and Russia to trade vaccines for influence.
“China and Russia have been using the catastrophe of a global pandemic, which hit us all very hard, not to strengthen the multilateral system, but to try and look out for their own political gains,” Annen said.
Merkel hopes for ‘good results’ on vaccine donations
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after arriving at the summit that she hopes the G7 leaders will be able to “achieve very good results” on a common pledge to donate 1 billion vaccine doses to poorer countries.
Merkel added G7 leaders need to “show that we’re not just thinking of ourselves, but we’re also thinking of those who don’t yet have the opportunity to get vaccinated, above all, African countries, but others, too.”
Merkel advocates ‘multilateral’ approach to global challenges
Merkel also said she expects leaders at the summit to “put in a strong word for values-based multilateralism,” while adding that issues like climate change cannot be solved without including competitors like China.
“We need everyone in the world … we want to work together, particularly in the areas of climate protection and biodiversity. We will never achieve solutions there without China,” she said.
Macron praises European unity
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a picture of himself sitting with EU leaders at a table outside the summit venue.
“As always, the same union, the same determination to act, the same enthusiasm! The G7 can begin,” Macron said.
Comme toujours, une même union, une même détermination à agir, un même enthousiasme ! Le G7 peut commencer. pic.twitter.com/RPqZ2XMGMb— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 11, 2021
Johnson welcomes G7 leaders
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the event, will welcome his counterparts at the official opening from 1 p.m. UTC.
The family photograph is expected shortly afterwards. The summit is taking place at Carbis Bay in the English holiday region of Cornwall.
Johnson said the first in-person G7 summit in nearly two years is a “huge opportunity” to kickstart global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden’s 1st foreign trip as president
The summit is the first stop on US President Joe Biden’s eight-day European tour. His main aim is to revive the transatlantic partnership and formulate a shared US-Europe stand on Russia.
1 billion vaccine pledge
Welcome to DW’s rolling coverage of the first face-to-face G7 talks in almost two years.
Leaders from the Group of Seven (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United States) are expected to announce a donation of at least 1 billion coronavirus vaccine shots to nations struggling to contain the virus.
Source: Deutsche Welle, Photo: Patrick Semansky AP Photo /Picture Alliance