G7 foreign and development ministers are meeting in London this week to discuss vaccine distribution and sustainable development goals, and to “revitalize in-person diplomacy” following 18 long months of Zoom calls and Covid scares. It’s preparation for the main G7 summit, which will be held in southwest England between June 11 and 13.
Representatives of India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been invited to join their G7 counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, and the UK, in a bid to show that the UK, which holds the rotating presidency of the G7 this year, is serious about pivoting to the Indo-Pacific.
To kick things off yesterday (May 3), UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab met with US secretary of state Antony Blinken. At a joint press conference afterwards, they spoke about the need for “like-minded countries” to “protect fundamental freedoms, tackle disinformation, [and] hold human rights abusers to account.” In the same breath, Raab named China as an offender in these areas.