PM Boris Johnson’s remarks at the first session of the G7 Summit

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a family photograph with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel during the G7 Leaders summit in Carbis Bay. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s opening remarks at the first session of the G7 Summit on the 11 June 2021.

Can I begin by welcoming you all here to Carbis Bay. It’s genuinely wonderful to see everybody in person, I can’t say what a difference it makes.

You’ve all been going through the most wretched pandemic the world has faced for at least our lifetimes. I actually think that this is a meeting that genuinely needs to happen because we need to make sure we learn lessons from the pandemic. We need to make sure we don’t repeat some of the errors that we have made in the course of the last 18 months or so and we put in place what is needed to allow our economies to recover. They have the potential to bounce back very strongly and we have all sorts of reasons to be optimistic, but it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the last great crisis, the last big economic recession of 2008 when the recovery was not uniform across all part of society.

What’s gone wrong with this pandemic, what risks being a lasting scar, is the inequalities that have been entrenched. We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies – we need to build back better.

I actually think that we have a huge opportunity to do that, because as a G7 we are united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world. A solution to the problems of climate change in all those ideas, in those technologies, that we’re all addressing. Together I think there is a potential to generate many, many millions of high wage, high skilled jobs and I think that is what the people of our countries now want us to focus on.

They want to be sure that we’re beating the pandemic together and discussing how to never have a repeat of what we’ve seen. But also that we’re building back better together. And building back greener. And building back fairer. And building back more equal. Maybe in a more gender neutral, a more feminine, way. So those are some of the objectives we have before us today. Thank you all very, very much.

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