The UK has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the G7 Summit, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use to ask world leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from Covid-19 in order to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous.
The summit will be held in Cornwall during June 11-13, and the UK will use its G7 presidency to “unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future”, said a statement from the British high commission.
Besides India, Australia and South Korea have also been invited as guest countries to the first in-person G7 Summit in almost two years.
“As ‘pharmacy of the world’, India already supplies more than 50% of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic. Our prime ministers speak regularly and Prime Minister Johnson has said he will visit India ahead of the G7,” the statement said.
Prime ministers and presidents from the world’s leading democracies will come together in the UK to address shared challenges, from beating Coronavirus and tackling climate change, to ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change and scientific discovery.
The G7 – made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the European Union – is the only forum where the world’s most influential and open societies and advanced economies are brought together for close-knit discussions.
The UK invited the leaders of India, Australia and South Korea to attend as guest countries to “deepen the expertise and experience around the table”, the statement said.
The invitation to India, Australia and South Korea is also “testament to the UK’s commitment to ensuring multilateral institutions better reflect today’s world”, it said.
The UK was the first P5 member to support a permanent UN Security Council seat for India and the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit in 2005. As the current president of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) forum and G20 president in 2023, “India will play a key role driving in multilateral cooperation helping to build back better around the world”, the statement said.
Johnson plans to use the G7 Summit to intensify cooperation between the world’s democratic and technologically advanced nations. Between them, the 10 leaders represent more than 60% of the people living in democracies around the world.
The UK will also host several meetings throughout the year between government ministers from the G7, both virtually and in different locations across Britain. These meetings will cover economic, environmental, health, trade, technology, development and foreign policy issues.
Johnson said: “As the most prominent grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been the catalyst for decisive international action to tackle the greatest challenges we face. From cancelling developing world debt to our universal condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the world has looked to the G7 to apply our shared values and diplomatic might to create a more open and prosperous planet.
“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced. It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future,” he added.
This is a crucial year of international leadership for the UK. In addition to the G7 Summit, during February, Britain will assume the presidency of the UN Security Council, and later this year, it will host COP26 in Glasgow and a global education conference aimed at getting children in the developing world into school.
Johnson was invited as the chief to this year’s Republic Day celebrations but cancelled his visit recently in order to stay at home to oversee Britain’s response to a surge in Covid-19 cases.