UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host fellow G7 leaders at a virtual meeting today to discuss equitable vaccine distribution and global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting will be the first hosted by the UK PM as part of the country’s 2021 G7 presidency. It will also be US President Joe Biden’s first major multilateral engagement. Issues regarding vaccine access have become an escalating crisis for many developing countries, though some headway has been made with the establishment of COVAX—a multilateral effort that focuses on the equitable development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations. Last month, the US announced it would join the COVAX initiative, becoming the last G7 country to do so.
Expect today’s meeting to focus on international pandemic preparedness. Biden is likely to recommit the US to multilateral engagements. In this vein, expect Biden to coordinate cooperation likely through signaling support for the G7-backed plan for a new increased allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own reserve currency, known as special drawing rights (SDR). Increased SDR would greatly aid low-income countries hit by COVID-19 in spurring economic recovery.
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Sulagna is a Research Analyst in the Current Developments team. She has a background in computer science and international relations and specialises in cybersecurity, political theory and security studies. Sulagna's writing focuses on foreign policy and national security issues, particularly in the realm of technology.