Johnson urges G7 leaders to unite to defeat Covid-19

Gavin Cordon, PA Whitehall Editor
·1-min read

Boris Johnson will urge world leaders to work together to defeat the “common foe” of coronavirus when he hosts his first meeting of the UK presidency of the G7.

The Prime Minister will call for an end to the “nationalist and divisive politics” which marred the initial response to the pandemic, as he chairs the virtual gathering on Friday.

According to Downing Street Mr Johnson will say the rollout of vaccines offers a fresh opportunity to demonstrate the value of international co-operation.

The online meeting – ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall in June – marks US president Joe Biden’s first major multilateral engagement since entering the White House last month.

Among those involved with the G7, there is reportedly relief at the prospect of dealing with a president committed to upholding the international order after the turbulent years of Donald Trump.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson said: “The solutions to the challenges we face – from the colossal mission to get vaccines to every single country, to the fight to reverse the damage done to our ecosystems and lead a sustainable recovery from coronavirus – lie in the discussions we have with our friends and partners around the world.

“Quantum leaps in science have given us the vaccines we need to end this pandemic for good. Now world governments have a responsibility to work together to put those vaccines to the best possible use.

“I hope 2021 will be remembered as the year humanity worked together like never before to defeat a common foe.”