London: World Richest Countries Unveil Post-Pandemic Recovery Plan but Critics believe the summit was a waste of time and resources
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G7 leaders and guests pose for a group picture during a meeting in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021 (photo/ Reuters)

G7 leaders emerged from a 3-day in-person summit in Cornwall, Britain with recovery strategies captured in a joint communique that touches on areas of mutual interest and camaraderie.

Top on the bill was vaccine equity, climate change, global corporate tax, $40 billion infrastructure fund—Build Back Better Partnership” (B3P), $2.75 billion Global Partnership for Education and China’s growing “autocratic” influence.

Canada committed to contribute up to 100 million vaccine doses to the world in a formal announcement by Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau in addition to 87 million doses purchased already through ACT-Accelerator.

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Details about the commitments remain sketchy including for example how much of Canada’s new pledge involved new funds or direct vaccine contributions to COVAX despite media assurances by Canada’s High Commissioner to UK Ralph Goodale that details will emerge after the Summit.

Amidst the G7 group’s optimism in harnessing their democratic values to promote “democratic alternatives”, critics say the summit was a waste of time and resources.

Columbia University Professor Jefferey Sachs describes the G7 as “unrepresentative” arguing that big ticket policy discussions should be held among G20 countries including China, Indonesia, and other large developing countries which cumulatively account for 81% of global output.

 Analysis

The Cornwall in-person meeting signalled a return to Post-War international diplomacy and a test of the strengthen of the world’s biggest democracies after President Trump reduced multilateralism to a hogwash.

The challenges facing the world are urgent, and the summit fell short of details of country-by- country commitments including a comprehensive action to tackle Covid-19 and climate change.

Countering China’s “autocratic lack of values” demands action plan tied to a timetable with significant funding, particularly in the developing world where Xi Jinping is leveraging and positioning the Belt and Road Initiative as a threat to western political and economic interests.

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