One hundred former presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers have urged the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to pay for global coronavirus vaccinations to help stop the virus from mutating and returning as a worldwide threat.
The leaders made their appeal ahead of a G7 summit in England which begins on Friday, when U.S.A. President, Joe Biden, will meet the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan.
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.
Among the signatories were ex-British premiers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, former U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, and 15 former African leaders.
They said the G7 and other leaders invited to the summit should guarantee to pay what would amount to about $30 billion a year over two years towards fighting the pandemic worldwide.
Their plea coincided with a poll by the Save the Children charity which found strong public support in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Canada for the G7 paying towards the $66 billion needed for COVID-19 vaccines globally.
In Britain, 79% were in favor of such a policy, while 79% of Americans backed the proposal, the poll showed. Support was lowest in France, where 63% were in favor.