PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images
For the first time since the pandemic interrupted face-to-face events, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US gathered for three days of talks in a British seaside town to try and resolve some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Stopping the coronavirus pandemic will be at the center of the discussions. But summits like the G-7 also provide a window into the dynamic between world leaders beyond their statements and press conferences.
Take, for example, the unforgettable images of former President Donald Trump punching white fists with handshakes and push aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro in an apparent attempt to get to the fore of a photo op.
Here’s a look at some of the moments you might have missed on Day 1.
Most important meal of the day
“Multilateralism is back @ G7,” tweeted Charles Michel, President of the European Council, alongside a photo of several leaders gathered for what appeared to be a breakfast before the day’s talks. French President Emmanuel Macron also shared a photo of the rally via Twitter.
“The EU wants to make sure the world is vaccinated as quickly as possible. Only together can we do this by defending our values,” Michel wrote and included the hashtag “BuildBackBetter”, a sentence which G-7 host Prime Minister Boris Johnson adopted, and with whom Biden campaigned to describe his “rescue, recovery and reconstruction” program after the pandemic.
On Thursday, Biden announced that the United States would donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to nearly 100 countries struggling to afford them. G-7 leaders are expected to announce on the first day of talks their commitment to share $ 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with low-income countries.
Handshakes, elbow greetings in
PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images
At the start of the summit on Friday, world leaders and their wives walked up a pier one at a time to take a photo with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.
Exaggerated nudges as a security measure have replaced traditional handshakes between rulers.
“Everyone in the water,” Biden joked to the pool of photographers.
LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images
As usual, leaders gathered for an official photo before talks began.
Harry and Meghan’s newborn baby is mentioned
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP via Getty Images
On Friday, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and First Lady Jill Biden visited a classroom at Connor Downs Academy and hosted a panel discussion on early childhood education.
That itself provided an awkward moment.
Reporters traveling with Biden have asked Middleton if she has any wishes for her new niece, Lilibet Diana, the newborn daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who has walked away from the British royal family in a very public way.
The baby was named in honor of the Duke’s late mother, Princess Diana of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth. The name has sparked some controversy, with questions as to whether the Queen had given her blessing for the use of her childhood nickname.
“I wish her all the best. I can’t wait to meet her,” Middleton said. “We haven’t met her yet. Hope it will be soon.
She was asked if she had FaceTimed with her new niece. “No, I didn’t,” she said.
“Rebuilding better together … greener and rebuilding fairer and rebuilding more equal, in a more neutral, perhaps more feminine way”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson starts his “fireside chat” with other G7 leaders https://t.co/OfzwQgtI4G pic.twitter.com/TtSzcmbLUP
– BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 11, 2021
Johnson sees a more ‘feminine’ post-COVID world
Cameras were allowed in briefly as the leaders began their formal meeting. Johnson made some opening remarks, pointing out how refreshing it is to work with people in person.
He nodded about climate change, saying: “We are united in our vision of a cleaner and greener world, a solution to the problems of climate change.
As NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports, any concrete action announced during the climate change talks could give momentum to the United Nations Climate Change Conference this fall. Johnson is also organizing this Glasgow meeting.
But he focused on COVID-19. “We have to make sure that we learn from the pandemic,” he said.
“We are rebuilding better together, and rebuilding more ecologically, and rebuilding fairer, and rebuilding more equitably, and in a more neutral and maybe more feminine way. And this?” Johnson said.