Star comment: Pandemic recovery the key point at G7 summit

Let's be honest, when the world's most powerful democracies meet, there is a tendency for the build up to overshadow the actual gathering.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

After all the pomp and ceremony, the handshakes and pats on the back, our great leaders usually end up going their separate ways having achieved very little.

For one obvious reason this year's G7 summit, hosted by Boris Johnson in Cornwall, must be very different.

The coronavirus pandemic has left a trail of destruction around the world. Even in the most developed nations, lives have been lost and economies damaged.

And it goes without saying that Covid is not finished yet.

The virus is still causing havoc, so quite rightly, recovering from the pandemic will be the main topic of conversation throughout the summit.

This is not something that can be tackled by individual countries in isolation. It requires a global approach to ensure that recovery is universal.

From the UK's perspective, Mr Johnson has already stated his intent to focus on what he terms the 'Global Britain' of the future.

This includes forging a new relationship – just don't call it 'special' – with US President Joe Biden, and promoting democratic values in a world where the likes of China and Russia are major powers.

And while climate change and Brexit are other issues that will no doubt be on the agenda, the desperate need to improve global health cannot be ignored.

Undoubtedly, one of the things that marked the early stages of the pandemic was an 'every man for himself' approach.

Many countries, quite understandably, sought to look after their own people as a priority.

As things stand, more than two billion doses of the vaccine have been delivered around the world, but some poorer nations are lagging behind.

It is imperative that the wealthy nations do everything in their power to address this issue and make sure as many people as possible are offered protection.

As it has been said many times in recent weeks, no-one is safe until everyone is safe.

And as we attempt to move beyond the pandemic, our leaders must ensure measures are put in place to stop anything like this from ever happening again.

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