February’s virtual meeting will allow Johnson to present his priorities and policy agenda for this year’s summit program, which the people said will focus on promoting democratic values through the G7. The U.K. could push for a more united front on countries at odds with democratic values and human rights, such as China.
The teleconference call will center primarily on the immediate response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, one of the people said. Johnson’s office declined to comment.
Fresh from completing its divorce from the European Union, the U.K. has a chance in 2021 to show what Johnson means with his promise to turn the country into “global Britain.” As well as taking over the G7 leadership, the U.K. will hold the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in February and is co-hosting the COP26 global climate talks, with a summit planned for November.
“Human rights will be at the forefront of our leadership this year,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in Parliament on Tuesday. “The U.K. has a crucial role to play in promoting open societies including on human rights, but also defending public goods in areas like climate change and Covid response.”