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What happened at the G7 summit?

What happened at the G7 summit?

The G7 Summit took place in Cornwall at the weekend, with major world leaders coming together for the first face-to-face summit of the Group of 7 since before the coronavirus pandemic.

You might have seen pictures of world leaders on the beach, but what actually happened at the weekend and was it important? Here's a look at some of the key points...

 

What even is the G7?

The G7, or Group of 7, is a group of countries that come together primarily to monitor and address developments in the world economy. The main aim of the group is to consider economic policy issues and manage the system of global governance. 

The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. The European Union is also a member of the G7, but as it is not a country, it is not included in the number.

You can find out more about the G7 in our guide here.

 

What happened at the summit?

A number of different meetings took place at the summit, some one-to-ones and some group meetings. Among the meetings that took place, US President Joe Biden met with Boris Johnson, in what was his first overseas trip since winning last year's US Presidential Election.

Leaders also spent some time on Carbis Bay beach, had dinners together and were joined by the Queen on Friday evening.

 

What were some of the key commitments made by G7 leaders?

A number of commitments were made by G7 leaders at the summit in Cornwall - here's a look at some of the key points;

  • The G7 pledged to secure a further 1 billion vaccine doses for low and middle-income countries - either through donating surplus supplies or providing further finance to the Covax vaccine scheme.
  • The G7 pledged to reinforce global surveillance for potentially dangerous diseases as part of efforts for containing future pandemics. 
  • Leaders agreed that in the event of a future outbreak, G7 nations would act rapidly with the aim of making vaccines, tests and treatments available within a period of just 100 days.
  • Delegates signed a deal to tackle tax abuses by some of the world's biggest multinational companies and establish a minimum global corporation tax.
  • Delegates from G7 countries pledged to take action to tackle the growing hazard of space debris.
  • Leaders reaffirmed their intentions of holding global heating levels to no more than 1.5°C

The full communique, entitled 'Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better' can be found on the G7 UK website.

 

What have the reactions been to the summit?

Reactions to the summit have been mixed.

Some will see the commitments by leaders as important and key progress in tackling world issues. However, some campaigners wanted to see much more action taken, particularly in relation to tackling climate change.

The summit also led to some anger amongst the public on social media, as images showed world leaders enjoying themselves on the beach and at barbecues, against a backdrop of some lockdown restrictions continuing in the UK and around the world.