Dominic Raab takes his seat at the (virtual) G7 table as he stands in for Boris Johnson at Donald Trump-organised meeting at which leaders pledge to help the global economy ‘rebound’ from coronavirus
- He joined Trump and other leaders to discuss the economic impact of pandemic
- No10 pictures showed him in briefing room with world leaders on a large screen
- He was standing in for Boris Johnson, who is recovering from coronavirus
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Dominic Raab took his seat alongside world leaders as he represented the UK at a virtual G7 conference on coroanvirus today.
In the ongoing absence through illness of Boris Johnson he joined leaders including US president Donald Trump to discuss how to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic that has effectively shut down global trade.
In pictures released by Downing Street he was showing in a No 10 briefing room with aides, and other world leaders on a large screen in front of him.
Speaking afterwards, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said: ‘We all remain committed to doing whatever it takes to help people and our economies rebound after this crisis.’
Downing Street did not reveal whether Mr Raab had challenged Mr Trup, whose nation chairs the G7 currently, on his decision to defund the World Health Organisation.
He later fronted a Downing Street press conference, where he announced the UK’s lockdown would continue for another three weeks at least.
In pictures released by Downing Street he was showing in a No 10 briefing room with aides, and other world leaders on a large screen in front of him
He later fronted a Downing Street press conference, where he announced the UK’s lockdown would continue for another three weeks at least
Regarding the G7 meeting, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘All leaders expressed their best wishes for the Prime Minister’s recovery and welcomed the cooperation that has already taken place between G7 countries.
‘They agreed that the rapid development and production of coronavirus treatments and a vaccine will be crucial to stop the spread of the virus around the world. The First Secretary of State stressed the need for the response to be internationally coordinated.
‘Leaders discussed the particular risk coronavirus poses to developing nations and agreed on the need to fight coronavirus in every country. They committed to continue to support developing countries through bilateral assistance, multinational organisations and by ensuring governments around the world have access to the medical supplies they need.
‘G7 leaders also agreed on the importance of financial measures to defend the global economy against the impact of coronavirus. The First Secretary of State welcomed the efforts that have been made to coordinate economic responses, including agreements on debt relief earlier this week, and urged all countries to support long-term economic recovery.’
Yesterday Downing Street confirmed the UK will not follow Mr Trump by freezing hundreds of millions of pounds in funding.
The US president launched an extraordinary attack on the ‘China-centric’ UN agency overnight, putting $500million in funding on hold while an investigation is conducted into its handling of the pandemic.
Mr Trump singled out what he called the WHO’s ‘dangerous and costly decision’ to argue against international travel bans to combat the pandemic.
But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the UK government believes the WHO has an ‘important role to play’ in the global response to coronavirus.
Other major donors including the EU and Australia have made clear they will continue with funding.
The PM’s spokesman said last night the UK’s contribution – usually around £200million a year – would not be withheld.
‘The G7 is committed to doing whatever it takes to tackle this pandemic,’ he added.
‘The Foreign Secretary will underline the need for global collaboration to tackle this crisis.
‘This includes increasing the speed and scale of production of vaccines, treatments and tests internationally.
‘He will also encourage co-ordination on the economic response to the virus and G7 to support vulnerable countries.’
The WHO’s funding comes from ‘assessed’ contributions – required to be a member – and ‘voluntary’ contributions.
The UK’s total in 2018 came to around $220million – although it has injected more this year to combat coronavirus.
The US is the largest single contributor to the WHO, paying in some $893million between 2018 and 2019 which made up around 15 per cent of the agency’s total budget during that period.
So far in 2020 the US has agreed to pay some $57million in assessed contributions to the WHO – the largest single payment by a country.