There could be no more compelling or tragic evidence of the need for global collaboration than the pandemic that has swept the world and claimed the lives of more than 3.7 million people.

For the first time since the outbreak of this catastrophe, the G7 heads of state and government are meeting in person this Friday for a summit, which I will chair in Cornwall, UK.

I have also asked the Prime Ministers of India and Australia, as well as the Presidents of South Korea and South Africa, so that a broader exchange between friendly democracies and free societies is possible.

It is our joint responsibility to overcome the pandemic, minimize the risk of a recurrence, and better rebuild our economy after this tragedy.

Use vaccines as soon as possible

In Cornwall, the world's largest and most modern economies will sit at the table, ready to use their knowledge and skills against a common enemy.

The ingenuity and determination of our scientists has given us safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19.

Our task now is to use them as soon as possible to protect humanity.

Great Britain was one of the founders of the global Covax alliance, which has so far supplied 80 million doses of vaccine to developing countries.

Most of this was the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed with support from the UK government and expertise from all over the UK.

It should expressly be inexpensive to administer and easy to store in order to protect as many people as possible around the world.

The UK has contributed £ 548 million to Covax, and we will also be donating the vast majority of excess doses from our own vaccination program.

However, the plight is so great that we all have to work harder.

That is why I want the G7 to pass a lofty but absolutely necessary goal: to make a billion doses of vaccine available to developing countries so that everyone in the world can be vaccinated by the end of next year.

This has never happened before, and if you have any doubts whether it is possible, you should be encouraged by the unprecedented achievements the fight against the pandemic has already brought about. Our scientists have developed vaccines against Covid-19 faster than any disease has ever been defeated before. Britain and many other countries are vaccinating their populations faster than anyone thought possible.

With the same urgency and ingenuity, we must now act on a global scale to protect humanity around the world. We can do this and we must do it - and it should be decided at this G7 summit that we do it. But the reality is, even if we did, it would do little if another deadly virus emerged and caused another catastrophe.