The G7 heads of state and government pose for the start of the summit in Cornwall, UK
Photo: NEIL HALL / INTERNATIONAL POOL / EPA
The G7 summit of leading industrial nations has started in Cornwall in the south of England.
For the three-day deliberations, the heads of state and government of Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Japan and the USA met again in person for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the meeting.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said shortly before the beginning of the summit that she was hoping for "very good results" from the meeting, especially with regard to overcoming the corona pandemic and vaccination policy.
The G7 countries could show at their summit: "We don't just think about ourselves, we also think about those who have not yet had a chance to be vaccinated".
The Chancellor was referring to African countries that are dependent on corona vaccine donations from rich nations.
Donation of 500 million vaccine doses
Most recently, the pressure on rich countries to share their corona vaccines with poorer countries had increased. US President Joe Biden has already announced a donation of 500 million corona vaccine doses to poorer countries. The G7 participants announced the donation of a billion vaccine doses for poorer countries announced by the G7 participants as being too small.
Biden, for whom it is the first international summit since the beginning of his term in office, tweeted shortly before it began that he was delighted to "step up our commitment to multilateralism and to work with our allies and partners to build a fairer global economy."
He emphasized: “Let's get to work.” At the opening of the summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of a “huge opportunity” to do better post-pandemic reconstruction as the G7.
"Confrontation with Russia"
Merkel said she was pleased to be able to meet Biden personally for the first time in his role as US President.
"Because it represents the commitment to multilateralism, which we have lacked in recent years." The G7 states therefore wanted to "say a strong word for multilateralism, including value-based multilateralism".
Merkel admitted that this would lead to a "dispute with Russia" and in some cases also with China.
However, cooperation with everyone and also with China is necessary, especially when it comes to climate protection.
On Friday, the focus of discussions at the G7 summit will initially be on the economic recovery from the corona pandemic and better educational opportunities for girls.
A reception with Queen Elizabeth II and numerous other members of the royal family is planned for the evening.
Strict infection control measures
On Saturday, the topics of economy and foreign policy as well as health and how to deal with the pandemic will dominate the summit.
On Sunday there is a focus on climate change.
Due to the pandemic, all meetings are secured by strict corona infection protection measures.
The participants of the summit traditionally also use the meeting for bilateral discussions.
Shortly before the start of the summit, Merkel took part in an EU coordination meeting with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Council President Charles Michel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron.
For Merkel it should be the last G7 summit because she will no longer stand in the upcoming federal election in September.
lau / Reuters / AFP