PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images
For the first time since the pandemic stopped face-to-face events, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States have gathered for three days of talks in a British maritime town to try to resolve some of the the world’s most pressing problems.
Stopping the coronavirus pandemic will be at the center of the talks. But summits like the G-7 also provide a window into the dynamics between world leaders in addition to their statements and press conferences.
Take, for example, the unforgettable images of former President Donald Trump handcuffing leaders with handshakes and pushing Montenegro’s prime minister aside in an apparent attempt to get ahead of a photo-op.
Here’s a look at some of the moments you may have missed on day 1.
The most important meal of the day
“Multilateralism is back @ G7” tweeted Charles Michel, President of the European Council, along with a photo of several leaders gathered for what appeared to be breakfast ahead of today’s talks. French President Emmanuel Macron also shared a photo of the collection via Twitter.
“The EU wants to ensure that the world is vaccinated as soon as possible. Only together can we do this by upholding our values,” Michel wrote, including the hashtag “BuildBackBetter”, a phrase adopted by G-7 host Prime Minister Boris Johnson. and that Biden struggled to describe his agenda for “saving, recovering and rebuilding” after the pandemic.
On Thursday, Biden announced that the United States will donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to nearly 100 countries struggling to afford them. G-7 leaders are expected to announce on Day 1 of the talks a commitment to share 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with lower-income countries.
Handshake out, elbow greetings in
PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images
At the start of the summit on Friday, world leaders and their spouses went up one pier at a time to get a picture with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.
Excessive elbow bumps as a precaution replaced the traditional handshakes between the leaders.
“Everyone in the water,” Biden slipped into the pool of photographers.
LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images
As usual, the leaders gathered for an official photo before the start of the talks.
Harry and Meghan’s newborns get a mention
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP via Getty Images
On Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and First Lady Jill Biden toured a classroom at Connor Downs Academy and held a roundtable on early childhood education.
It even gave an awkward moment.
Journalists traveling with Biden asked Middleton if she had any wishes for her new niece, Lilibet Diana, the newborn daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who has resigned from the British royal family in a very public manner.
The baby was named in honor of the Duke’s late mother, Princess Diana of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth. The name sparked some controversy with questions about whether the queen had given her blessing for the use of her childhood nickname.
“I wish her all the best. I can not wait to meet her,” Middleton said. “We have not met her yet. I hope it will be soon.”
She was asked if she had FaceTimed with her new niece. “No, I do not,” she said.
“To build better together … greener and build more fairly and build more straight in a more gender neutral, perhaps a more feminine way”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson begins his “fireside chat” with colleagues in the G7 leaders https://t.co/OfzwQgtI4G pic.twitter.com/TtSzcmbLUP
– BBC Politik (@BBCPolitics) June 11, 2021
Johnson sees a more ‘feminine’ post-COVID world
Cameras were briefly allowed when the leaders began their formal meeting. Johnson made some introductory remarks, noting how refreshing it is to work with people personally.
He nodded to the topic of climate change and said: “We are united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world, a solution to the problems of climate change.”
As NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports, any concrete action announced during the talks on climate change could accelerate the UN climate conference this autumn. Johnson also hosts the Glasgow meeting.
But he focused on COVID-19. “We need to make sure we learn the lessons of the pandemic,” he said.
“We build better together again and build greener back and build more fairly and build more evenly back and in a more gender neutral and maybe a more feminine way. What about that?” Said Johnson.