The G7 comprises the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. The UK currently holds the presidency and has invited India, along with Australia, South Korea and South Africa, as guest countries for the Summit, which will witness a hybrid of physical and virtual participation.
Since 2014, this is the second time the Prime Minister will be participating in a G7 meeting. India had been invited by the G7 French presidency in 2019 to the Biarritz Summit as a “Goodwill Partner” and Prime Minister Modi participated in the sessions on ‘Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans’ and ‘Digital Transformation’.
India has long called for reforming global institutions and groupings to reflect modern-day geopolitical realities. Trump’s offer to expand G7 fitted into New Delhi’s idea of being part of the global high table. With an assertive China round the corner, the US is calling all like-minded countries to partner in dealing with Beijing. If Biden and Johnson want to work towards constituting a global alliance of 10-11 countries, it will be an important signal.
While Biden made the announcement, Vice President Kamala Harris had called up Modi about Washington’s plans to make vaccines available to other countries, including India. A US statement said the Biden-Harris administration will begin sharing the “first 25 million doses” to the countries as part of the framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccines globally by the end of June.