Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies turn their attention to issues of global interest including coronavirus vaccines, climate change and education for girls on Wednesday as they close three days of talks in London.
“I think COVAX and the ability to fund it, get vaccines to the most vulnerable countries, what we do about the surplus domestic supply, all of those issues again, really good opportunity with the G-7, together with our Indo-Pacific partners, to talk all of that through and come up with positive answers,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Tuesday.
With Britain hosting the ministerial talks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose office highlighted the importance of global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“The Prime Minister and Secretary Blinken agreed that the global roll out of vaccines will be key to defeating the coronavirus pandemic. They underlined the importance of G-7 work in this area, including efforts to increase international manufacturing capability,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
Tuesday’s G-7 meetings included a focus on China.
A senior U.S. State Department official told reporters there was broad agreement among the ministers, “both the fact that we all want China to be an integral member of the international order, but to do that, it has to play by the rules of that international order.”
The official cited concern about China’s human rights record and its “threatening and aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and other areas around its border.”
Blinken also said Tuesday the G-7 nations want to end the 10-year civil war in Syria.
“My @G7 counterparts and I reaffirmed our commitment to a political resolution for ending the conflict in Syria and support to the reauthorization of the U.N. cross-border aid mechanism,” Blinken tweeted.
My @G7 counterparts and I reaffirmed our commitment to a political resolution for ending the conflict in Syria and support to the reauthorization of the UN cross-border aid mechanism. We’ll continue working to advance all aspects of UNSCR 2254 and end the suffering of Syrians.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 4, 2021
He said the group would work to advance all parts of a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for a cease-fire in Syria, along with a Syrian-led political process with a new constitution and elections.
The G-7 ministerial talks are laying the foundation for a summit of leaders from those countries in June, also in Britain.
In addition to Britain and the United States, the G-7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Australia, India, South Africa, South Korea and Brunei are also taking part in this week’s talks.
After the G-7 meetings, Blinken is scheduled to travel to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other senior government officials.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that Blinken will “reaffirm unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression.”