British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants the next Group of Seven summit to reach agreement on Covid-19 vaccine passports and start talks on a “global treaty” to prepare for future pandemics.
“We need to have agreements on things like vaccine passports, certification of Covid status and the rest,” Johnson said in an interview broadcast on Sunday by Canadian public broadcaster CBC.
“So there has to be some sort of agreement, at the G7 level to begin with, on how travel and passports are going to work. “
Johnson was speaking ahead of a June 11-13 summit of the G7 economic powers (United States, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy) that he will host in Cornwall, at the southwestern tip of England.
“What we need, I think, is a global treaty on pandemic preparedness,” he said, adding that 2020 had been a “terrible year for humanity”.
To date, the pandemic has killed more than 3.5 million people around the world. Britain has been among the hardest hit countries, although it has recovered since vaccinations began.
Johnson said it was also a bad time “for supporters of global cooperation because the world has just balkanized”, with many countries slow to share stocks of protective gear, drugs and vaccines. .
“We have to do better than that,” added the Prime Minister.
“Immunization has to be a global endeavor,” Johnson said in the interview recorded Friday.
He said it was crucial that developing countries receive vaccine supplies as quickly as possible.
Rather than the goal some have set of vaccinating the world by 2024 or 2025, Johnson has set himself a more ambitious goal, saying, “We have to get there by the end of next year. “
As for the debate over the origins of the pandemic – which erupted recently when President Joe Biden ordered a new intelligence report on the issue – Johnson said he still relied on the theory it had spread from wild animals to humans, and that it had not been disclosed. from a Chinese laboratory.
“But,” he added, “I’m not going to rule out any possibility. “
Johnson, who himself was hospitalized last year with a severe case of Covid, has come under heavy criticism in Britain for his early handling of the pandemic there.
The G7 summit will be a face-to-face affair. The group was scheduled to meet last summer in the United States, but concerns about Covid led to the meeting being canceled.
© 2021 AFP