G7 leaders are meeting for their first in-person talks in nearly two years, with an expected pledge to donate one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world's poorest countries.
The club of leading economies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – say a joint approach is the world's best chance for recovering from the global health crisis and tackling climate change.
As the summit opened at the seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall, southwest England on June 11, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told leaders the gathering was a chance to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic and ensure they do not repeat any errors.
"We need to make sure that we now allow our economies to recover," he said, adding that a more equitable future for the world was essential.
"We need to make sure that when we recover, we level up and we build back better. We have a huge opportunity to do that as G7," he added.
But regarding the plan to donate vaccines, campaigners said the pledge – which includes 500 million US doses and 100 million from the UK – does not go far enough.
"If the best G7 leaders can manage is to donate one billion vaccine doses then this summit will have been a failure," Oxfam's health policy manager Anna Marriott said, insisting the world needs 11 billion doses instead as she called for a global waiver on patent protections for vaccines.