These notes and suggested Prayer Pointers are to help provide some background and a starting point for us as we pray into the publicised agenda for the three-day G7 Summit.
Before we begin, we are reminded of 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT):
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
You may also like to use the three themes for our online gatherings and the scriptures to meditate and focus your thoughts.
There is no doubt that COVID will feature prominently at this year’s summit, both in terms of the ongoing challenge of vaccination, but also economic recovery and rebuilding shattered economies. Alongside this, Boris Johnson, who as host sets the agenda, has indicated a major focus on climate change and championing global shared values. These are all explored in more detail below.
Whilst there is general acceptance that the major nations need to do more to provide vaccinations for the whole world, it is not clear what substance lies behind the rhetoric. While the G7 countries are sure to agree on the need for more shots, the specifics of what they will propose or how it will be funded remains unclear. Mr Johnson has called for a goal of vaccinating the world by the end of 2022, while President Biden has said the US would be an “arsenal” of vaccines for the rest of the globe but has so far committed just 25 million doses of the American government’s stockpile.
Even before the start of the summit, pressure on the G7 nations to commit to tackling the inequity of vaccine supply has been evident. One hundred former presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers urged the G7 nations to pay for global coronavirus vaccinations to help stop the virus mutating and returning as a worldwide threat.
In their letter to the G7, the former world leaders said global cooperation had failed in 2020, but that 2021 could usher in a new era.
"Support from the G7 and G20 that makes vaccines readily accessible to low- and middle-income countries is not an act of charity, but rather is in every country's strategic interest," the letter said.
Among the signatories were ex-British premiers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, former United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, and 15 former African leaders.
The letter, seen by The Guardian, was been sent ahead of a three-day G7 summit. The newspaper reports that the powerful nations are also being urged to “lead the way on dose-sharing, voluntary licensing agreements and temporary patent waivers”, in order to boost vaccine production worldwide and help prevent new, and potentially more deadly, strains of the virus from spreading.
Under the proposals, the UK for example would contribute about 5% of the total cost, paying around $3bn (£2.1bn) over the next two years. That would amount to 30p per week per British citizen in return for “the best insurance policy in the world”, former Labour leader Brown told the BBC’s Today programme.
The UK is “perfectly capable of paying this sum”, said Brown, who pointed out that countries are set to receive a grant of $21bn (£15bn) each from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a bid to prop up Covid-stricken economies.
UNICEF has issued a similar plea, supported by a number of celebrities, influencers and activists, writing, “We’re asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase”.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Billie Eilish were among those highlighting that the Summit provides a vital opportunity for the G7 intergovernmental group of leading countries to agree actions that will get COVID-19 vaccines “where they are most needed, fast”.
According to UNICEF, despite spending a year and a half battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus continues to spread in many countries, producing new variants that threaten to undo all the progress so far, with more school closures, healthcare disruptions and greater economic fallout, the letter explained. “The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country, as quickly and equitably as possible”, said Ramla Ali, José Manuel Calderón and Lucy Liu as signatories.
UNICEF has also warned that millions of vaccines could be wasted if rich countries send large amounts of unused doses to poorer nations at the same time, explaining that there needs to be a steady supply throughout the year as poor countries lack the resources to get them in arms all at once.
Although UNICEF is already delivering vaccines on behalf of the UN-led vaccine equity initiative COVAX, it is 190 million doses short, leaving vulnerable people dangerously unprotected. And while some countries have committed to donating vaccines later this year, they are urgently needed “now”, they said.
According to UNICEF’s analysis, G7 countries will soon have enough doses to donate around 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August – equivalent to more than 150 million doses – without significantly delaying current plans to vaccinate their adult populations.
“The hopes of the world rest on your shoulders. Together, you must rise to this challenge. Let’s build a healthier, brighter and fairer future for every child and for everyone”, the letter concluded.
Boris Johnson has attached his own strapline to the G7 summit. He has contextualised the aim for economic revival as follows:
‘Our global recovery must spread wealth to all regions. With a collective approach to using new technologies, by strengthening the international trading system and by supporting a green recovery, we will create decent, lasting jobs across our nations.’
Additionally, he has highlighted the need for the economic revival to include advances in medicine and other health technology, stating,
‘We will create a stronger global health system that can protect us all from future pandemics. Tackling coronavirus has been the biggest shared endeavour of our lifetimes, and the global effort to develop new vaccines and treatments for coronavirus has shown what we can achieve by working together.’
An independent report commissioned for the UK government raises a number of issues, but optimistically states that:
“This is a special moment in history, offering the chance, indeed duty, for the G7 to lead a globally coordinated recovery, driven by sustainable investment and innovation by both the private and public sectors”.
The need to address green issues are being interwoven with the plans for economic recovery. In a virtual meeting ahead of a summit of the G7's finance ministers in London, they discussed how to move ahead with an "ambitious climate agenda". UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said he has pushed G7 counterparts to ensure efforts to tackle climate change are prioritised as economies rebuild after the pandemic. The chancellor and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey co-hosted the meeting, with Sunak calling for collective action from the group of seven leading industrialised nations to ensure a "green" recovery.
The independent report, chaired by a former chief economist at the world bank has written:
‘A key lesson that I trust G7 governments have learned from COVID-19 is how exposed and vulnerable every country is to global threats, including infectious diseases, climate change, and biodiversity loss. The challenges to well-being and prosperity highlighted by the pandemic are all interconnected, so we need an integrated approach to tackling them. The G7 has a special responsibility to lead here.’
Other economists have highlighted the danger of an economic recovery fuelled by consumer spending and consumption rather than an investment led recovery to enable strong and sustained growth, and to respond to climate change and the loss of natural capital, including biodiversity. Similarly, whilst leaders have a responsibility and duty towards their own nations, the very purpose of the G7 is to reflect the crucial role these leading nations play in worldwide economic transformation and their need to shoulder the costs and responsibility for this. This is perhaps one of the greatest challenges for our current leaders, understanding how to meet domestic and international needs concurrently.
However, it is the case that G7 economies will recover fully only if growth is restored in the rest of the world. That is because most of the global demand over the next decade will come from emerging markets and developing countries. This underlines the need to invest in bringing the pandemic under control across the world.
Climate change is a central theme of the summit, and one that will be continued at the COP26 climate change conference to be held later in the year in Glasgow. Boris Johnson has sought to detail his plans by calling for a green “Marshall Plan” to fight climate change. expectations. According to The Times newspaper, Johnson said the world’s largest economies should support low and middle income countries in Africa and Asia to build large scale renewable energy projects. Johnson is understood to have directed the U.K. Foreign Office, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Treasury to put together ideas for achieving this, to be presented at the G7.
Environment leaders from the G7 nations have already met in advance of the main summit and have agreed a range of outcomes. These include agreeing that they will deliver climate targets in line with limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C, far more ambitious than the previous 2C maximum. Ministers also agreed to stop direct funding of coal-fired power stations in poorer nations by the end of 2021. There was also an important commitment to safeguarding 30% of land for nature by 2030 to boost wildlife and help soak up carbon emissions.
Oxfam have highlighted how the economies of the G7 nations could see an average loss of 8.5 percent annually by 2050 ―equivalent to $4.8 trillion― if leaders do not take more ambitious action to tackle climate change, according to Oxfam’s analysis of research by the Swiss Re Institute. Oxfam is calling on G7 leaders, to cut carbon emissions more quickly and steeply.
Some of the points highlighted for G7 leaders to address include:
Similarly, Bishops representing the Catholic communities of England, Wales and Scotland have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stress that we must work together to ensure a just and sustainable future for our global community.
“The urgency of the global ecological crisis, and the teachings of our Catholic faith implore us to speak out, take action, and make decisions that benefit our planet and the most vulnerable in society,” say the bishops.
They also emphasise that the social, economic, and environmental crises we face are inextricably linked.
“The emergency of the ecological crisis has a human face, recently highlighted by the Vatican’s guidance on climate displaced people. In our race towards our own technological and economic advances, we have caused the exploitation of people and the degradation of our planet. Energy and infrastructure are vital in supporting the poorest in our societies out of the pandemic and out of the ecological crisis, but we must look towards a future whereby we radically reduce our use of fossil fuels – something which the countries which you represent have a shared responsibility for, in ensuring fair outcomes for the benefit of all.”
The UK government has sought to highlight that the G7 share common democratic values and respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law. They are committed to the protection, promotion and encouragement of open societies and the democratic systems that underpin them.
They go further, stating that foreign malign actors persist in their attempts to undermine democracies, and some states seek to promote their own authoritarian systems of governance and geopolitical objectives. The G7 is committed to working together to show global leadership and take action to expose and deter these actors and to defend democracy.
In particular they have highlighted:
Disinformation and other forms of information manipulation
Attempts to undermine trust in democratic institutions and processes, influence independent media, manipulate civic discourse, close civic space, damage social cohesion and threaten public health.
Attempts to undermine democratic processes and their outcomes, as well as public confidence and trust in them.
Interfering with fundamental freedoms and human rights
Attempts to influence, pressure or threaten individuals with the intent of preventing them from exercising their legitimate human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression.
Whilst we can all see these as laudable and worthwhile aims, there is no clear outline as to what this will look like in practice. It may well focus on the actions of states such as China and Russia, however we can pray that it would also reflect on areas such as Myanmar and other countries where persecution is rife and democracy in retreat.
Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
It is your will that they be gathered together
as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love
and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
By sharing the good things you give us,
may we secure an equality for all
our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May there be an end to division, strife and war.
May there be a dawning of a truly human society
built on love and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.
Cornwall is a very historic part of the British Isles with a long history in pagan worship, occult activity which is still active today. However Cornwall is also a county with a lot of spiritual heritage from the time of the Celtic saints through to John Wesley, William Haslam & Billy Bray – also in the 18th century, it was the premier tin mining field in the world.
Today it is home to a number of houses of prayer & healing as part of a countywide prayer initiative and many mission centred churches and Christian agencies that are bringing the kingdom of God into their communities. It is also a county of outstanding natural beauty with world-renowned beaches and historic communities.
Pray: for a blessing on the whole event that it will be peaceful, uplifting, empowering and filled with grace. That the atmosphere will be one of humility and service recognising God is sovereign and decisions made will all be conducive to the Gospel and the propagation of peace and wellbeing.
Pray: for Christians involved at whatever level that they might be “salt and light” in every situation and opportunity they have.
Pray: for local leaders who have a role in providing service and welcome including Cornish MPs, Councillors, local mayors etc
Boris Johnson has announced £65 million funding for three new ‘Town Deals’ for Cornwall that will begin ‘a major drive to restore Cornwall’s renowned natural environment and make Cornwall ‘the first net zero region of the UK‘. He called it a ‘G7 legacy for the region’.
Many roads are closed and bus and rail services are being paused or re-routed. The South West Coast Path which runs through the Carbis Bay Hotel is closed with a temporary diversion in place.
Pray: for a positive and warm welcome for visitors to the area whether directly involved in the Summit or not.
Pray: for those whose lives will be disrupted by security arrangements, road, rail bus and footpath closures, traffic delays, delivery and emergency services and presence of many visitors.
Pray: for those that are and feel disadvantaged and not included.
Pray: that a lasting positive legacy will be generated.
Pray: for those who are planning protests, that their interventions may be constructive and non-violent and that they will be treated with respect and courtesy.
Pray: for all those that Serve, across the Police, Military, Council Staff, those providing G7 accommodation in the Hospitality Industry, Falmouth Maritime Museum Staff and Cornwall Newquay airport and the multitude providing support of all kinds.
There will be 11,000 police and security officers on duty, many of them borrowed from other police forces across the country. They will have 150 police dogs working with them. 1,000 of the officers will be accommodated on a ferry moored at Falmouth, others on campsites. They will likely be working long shifts.
The armed forces are supporting the police operation. Naval vessels, aircraft, logistics support among other services have been brought in and the MoD is providing explosive search dogs and handlers, who will be under police command. Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams are on standby and additional resources will deploy to the area for the event.
The MoD are providing facilities to support the delivery of the summit, including RNAS Culdrose and RAF St Mawgan. A T23 frigate, HMS Northumberland will be positioned off the coast in addition to other naval assets. (Photo Credit MOD Crown Copyright)
40 groups have contacted the Police force to confirm their intention to protest at the event.
See photos of the security preparations.
There are 19 Devon & Cornwall Police Chaplains who engaged to assist throughout the G7 summit. Chaplains at Exeter were part of a ‘welcome team’ and on various days would have upwards of 2000 mutual aid officers (from other forces) coming through.
Sarah Jeffrey, M.A., the Co-Lead Chaplain said, 'We are incredibly humbled and delighted that we have been involved in almost all aspects of the event, from welcoming in Exeter, to supporting on the Oscar Kilo wellbeing vans stationed at various locations, to being part of the support on the cruise ship at Falmouth, to walking the cordon around St. Ives. We’ve engaged with loads of officers from different forces and it’s been fantastic. We’ve also joined up with some local street pastors who will be supporting on the overnight cordon. Officers are hanging in there but are very tired, they are doing long shifts and then having in some cases quite long trips back to their accommodation. I’m just incredibly proud of this team.'
Pray: for safety of all officers, chaplains and street pastors, and energy for the chaplains who are also working tirelessly. Some are working a 7 day week this week.
Apart from providing direct security for the visiting dignitaries, the police will be checking the areas within a couple of miles of the venue, the airport at Newquay, the Media Centre at Falmouth, and the routes in between. They will be on hand to cover all demonstrations in both in planned designated venues in Falmouth, Truro, Exeter and Plymouth Hoe and impromptu locations as they are also geared up to deal with the unexpected.
Shared by a journalist based in Cornwall: