• Sunday, July 25, 2021
India Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 419,470
Total Cases 31,293,062
Today's Fatalities 483
Today's Cases 35,342
Pakistan Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
Sri Lanka Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
Bangladesh Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
UK Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 419,470
Total Cases 31,293,062
Today's Fatalities 483
Today's Cases 35,342

Comment

Seven takeaways from G7

Lord Jitesh Gadhia.

By: Eastern Eye Staff

By Lord Jitesh Gadhia

IN THE run-up to last weekend’s G7 meeting in Cornwall, expectations were running high.

The first physical gathering of world leaders since the start of the pandemic provided an opportunity to address a whole series of pressing policy issues, ranging from vaccines and post-pandemic recovery to cli­mate action and trade barriers.

It was also US president Joe Biden’s debut on the world stage and provid­ed British prime minister Boris John­son with a platform to project his vi­sion for Global Britain.

These are my seven key reflections on the G7 summit:

America, and multilateralism, are back: The era of former US president Donald Trump proved that without close transatlantic collaboration, the G7 quickly becomes dysfunctional.

President Biden has reset the rela­tionship with America’s allies, and in the words of our prime minister, pro­vides “a breath of fresh air”. Certain issues can only be tackled with collec­tive leadership. The US is now back at the helm, leading the western alliance of democratic nations, which is the biggest positive outcome of the 2021 G7 meeting.

British soft power is alive and kick­ing: Our prime minister was keen to take full advantage of chairing and hosting the G7. The Cornish seaside resort of Carbis Bay proved an in­spired choice of venue, providing the right atmospherics and backdrop for the deliberations.

More substantively, it allowed the UK to demonstrate that Brexit was not a harbinger for retreat from global co-operation. If anything, leaving the EU has spurred a more internationalist mindset, reinforced by inviting Aus­tralia, India, South Africa and South Korea as guest participants.

All the other ingredients came to­gether too. For once the British weather was compliant, the Red Arrows put on another spectacular display and Sir David Attenborough was wheeled out to emphasise the impor­tance of political will in addressing climate change.

But the stardust came, yet again, from the royal family – led by the Queen – who hosted the G7 leaders and their spouses at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The whole G7 package was a display of Britain’s soft power par excellence.

The Brexit legacy still lingers: Not­withstanding the success of the Brit­ish diplomatic effort, the tensions over the Northern Ireland protocol cast a shadow over an otherwise cor­dial meeting.

With no sign of either side backing down, and the US emphasising the personal importance the president attaches to the Good Friday Agree­ment, the pressure on the UK to com­promise will only increase. Unlike under Trump, the success of the EU is now a core part of US foreign policy. That policy shift was clear and visible for all to see.

India’s geopolitical role is ex­panding: Prime minister Narendra Modi was invited as a guest to the G7 and participated vir­tually, given the heightened Covid situation in India. His emphasis on ‘One Earth, One Health’ struck a chord and re­minded western leaders that vaccinating the world was not only the right thing to do but also was in their own self-interest.

Modi also noted that India is the only G20 country on track to meet its Paris climate commitments.

The pivot of west­ern foreign policy towards the Indo- Pacific region, providing a balance to China, means that India will play an increasingly important role at the top table in world affairs. How India rises to this unique opportunity, to posi­tion itself as a leader among open democratic societies, will define its own destiny.

Pandemic and vaccine supplies re­main top priority: While the promise of one billion additional vaccines for the poorest countries was a welcome announcement from the G7, this commitment highlights the moun­tain yet to be climbed. The world needs an estimated 11 billion doses to vaccinate all adults. How supply of doses can be ramped up and deliv­ered on the ground will remain the biggest short-term issue during the rest of 2021 and into next year.

Commitment to “build back bet­ter” through sustained spending: The G7 countries have provided a stag­gering $12 tril­lion (£8.5tr) in fis­cal and liquidity support for their economies during pandemic. This has included unprecedented levels of quantitative easing from central banks. Instead of phasing out these interventions, and taking steps to im­prove government finances, there is a strong impetus to sustain investment spending, especially on healthcare, green infrastructure and skills.

Western democracies – even with centre-right governments – have clearly embraced an era of big gov­ernment and high state spending with the aim of “levelling up” oppor­tunities for all their citizens.

Climate change is the biggest for­ward challenge: Every G7 summit is targeted by protesters and their activ­ity this year, was again focused on climate, nature and sustainability.

This is undoubtedly the biggest strategic challenge facing the world and progress was made on ceasing unabated coal power generation and meet­ing climate finance commitments. However, greater momentum is required ahead of COP26 in November.

In many ways, the G7 provided a “warm-up” for this much bigger sum­mit being co-hosted by UK in Glas­gow this year. It will represent a quan­tum leap in scale and scope from the G7 – involving over 200 countries – with global attention focused on this defining moment for the planet.

The prime minister and Alok Shar­ma, the president of COP26, have their work cut out to meet these even higher expectations.

Eastern Eye

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