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Global medical supply chains on G7 ministerial in UK on Monday – Hindustan Times

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will reach London on Monday to attend the two-day G7 plus 3 ministerial meeting amidst the resurgent coronavirus pandemic in India with the focus on global supply chains to fight the disease, chart the path for economic recovery and strive towards carbon neutrality to battle climate change. S Jaishankar will be in Britain on May 3 and 4 with the meeting laying the groundwork for the G7 plus 3 summit on June 11-13 at Cornwall. The three countries apart from G7 are India, Australia and South Korea.

While it is still not clear whether the QUAD ministers will meet on the sidelines of the G7 ministerial, India, Australia and France foreign ministers meeting is on the cards, just as Japan, the US and South Korean foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in England.

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According to diplomats based in the European Union (EU), London and Delhi, the main agenda item will be to establish global medical supply chains to fight the pandemic, which has returned in waves all over the world. India has been seeking delicensing of the vaccines against Covid-19 so that the preventive drug is available at low cost and in significant quantities all over the world.

Although a G7 plus 3 communique is expected after the Cornwall Summit, the richest democratic nations of the world will also coordinate their policies to chart a course for economic recovery post-pandemic and relook at cooperative mechanisms to restart trade and economic revival.

For India, the G7 ministerial will be just before the India-EU virtual summit, hosted by Portugal, on May 8 with the expectation of revival of negotiations towards free trade and investment agreement.

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The third important item on the agenda will be the issue of climate change with countries being asked to move towards their carbon neutrality. While India has taken significant steps towards climate change, a forward movement is expected after the Cornwall Summit as the United Kingdom is hosting the UN Conference of Parties 26 at Glasgow on November 1 this year.

While Jaishankar will thank G7 members and EU states like France for helping out India fight the coronavirus disease by sending in crucial medical supplies at the time of the raging pandemic, the participating foreign ministers of 10 states are expected to work out an arrangement to help each other out in case the virus returns after vaccination of major parts of the globe by end 2021.

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