The first in-person meeting of G7 foreign and development ministers has taken place in London this week.
G7 foreign and development ministers travelled to London this week for their first in-person gathering in more than two years. Talks were hosted at Lancaster House, a COVID-secure venue in the centre of the city from Monday to Wednesday.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab set ambitious targets on climate finance and girls’ education, a co-ordinated approach to strengthening global health and new measures to prevent famine. He has also united ministers from the world’s leading democracies – including for the first time, a delegation representing ASEAN.
The G7 talks are an opportunity to bring together diplomacy and development to secure significant progress towards the UK’s G7 Presidency goals of building back better together from the COVID-19 pandemic, ahead of the Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall in June.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
COVID measures were in place throughout the meetings, to ensure the health and wellbeing of all staff, attendees, and the public. This included an on-site testing facility at the venue, social distancing measures and Perspex screens to separate delegates in meetings. There was also strict limits on the size of delegations and attendees were required to take regular tests.
As well as G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and UK, plus the EU) the Foreign Secretary also invited Australia, India, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and the Chair of the ASEAN, to join parts of this year’s G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting as guests.
Their attendance brought broader geographic representation of nations committed to reforming and safeguarding the international order in which open societies and economies flourish. It also demonstrates the importance of the Indo-Pacific region to upholding shared values and norms.
Throughout the week the Foreign Secretary hosted bilateral meetings with each of the G7 foreign ministers and invited guests. On Bank Holiday Monday, he also met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in London for talks on issues including trade, China, Afghanistan and Iran.
Dominic Raab also hosted the Japanese Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, at Chevening to deepen trade and security cooperation and agree a shared approach on the security of the Indo-Pacific region.
He also met Indian Minister of External Affairs, Dr Jaishankar, at Chevening. They discussed the UK’s commitment to working with India to tackle COVID-19, following the UK Prime Minister’s pledge that the UK will support India’s fight against the pandemic.
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