G7 leaders on Friday opened their first in-person talks in nearly two years, with an expected pledge to donate one billion COVID vaccine doses to poor countries on the agenda in a show of Western democratic cohesion. The G7 is an informal group of seven countries, including United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, whose leaders gather once a year with representatives from the European Union and other invited visitors. Collectively, the member countries account for 40% of world GDP and 10% of global population.
Unlike NATO, the G7 has no legal status, no permanent secretariat, and no recognised members. It traces its origins to a 1975 conference of the existing G7 nations, except Canada. The countries committed to meet annually after the inaugural summit, and Canada was accepted into the club a year later, marking the official foundation of the G7.
In 1998, Russia was also invited to join the alliance. After that, the group was known as the G8, until Russia was removed in 2014 for annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
Each year, each of the seven countries takes the presidency of the G7 meetings in turn. The summit is organised and hosted by the country that holds the President. The UK is hosting the G7 presidency in 2021, and the conference will take place on June 12 at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall.
India, South Korea, and Australia have been invited as participating guests to the G7 summit this year. The UK will issue a communique at the conclusion of the summit, which will detail what was agreed upon at the conference.