Boris Johnson has suggested he wants more international collaboration on coping with future pandemics after the coronavirus crisis showed they were “totally unprepared”.
The prime minister will chair this year’s summit of the G7 group of major economies and wants it to focus on “building back better, together”.
He wants to help shape the meeting into a wider group of like-minded powers, with the leaders of India, Australia and South Korea invited as guests – forming a “D10” of democracies.
At the Commons Liaison Committee, Johnson said: “If you look at the pandemic it caught the international system totally unprepared in all sorts of ways and we need to work together on preparing for pandemics in the future.”
On whether to close borders or impose quarantine measures, there was “no international consensus” and there were similarly divergent responses on vaccine prioritisation, lockdown restrictions and the use of PPE.
“The global system basically failed to match the demands of the time,” he said.
“One of the things we are looking at is the possibility of a treaty on pandemics.”
The G7 is made up of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, with the European Union also represented.