G7: Covid vaccines will be ‘single biggest issue’

The way coronavirus vaccines are being distributed to lower-income countries will be the key issue at the upcoming G7 summit, a former UK ambassador to the US has said. Sir Nigel Sheinwald told BBC World News a clear statement of intent “in terms of money on the table” was needed from G7 countries to kickstart an international approach involving the G20, United Nations, World Health Organization and others.

Video Transcript

NIGEL SHEINWALD: I think that’s going to be probably the single biggest issue. And the way in which both the Biden administration and frankly, our prime minister have framed the issue so far may not be enough to convince the world that the G7 really does have a plan. I think it’s going to need to involve a clear statement of intent in terms of money on the table from the G7 to kick start a process of really getting this done by the end of next year.

If it’s just as Boris Johnson said, us using our unused vaccines in the UK, I don’t think that’s going to be enough. So I think it involves money, it involves a process, it involves using the international institutions. And spreading this out beyond the G7 to the G20 and the UN and the WHO and many others.

OK.

NIGEL SHEINWALD: So it requires really quite a structured and coordinated response.