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A glimmer of hope

G7 leaders pose on a beach in St Ives, Cornwall. From left: Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, European Council president Charles Michel, US president Joe Biden, Japan prime minister Yoshihide Suga, British prime minister Boris Johnson, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, French president Emmanuel Macron, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and German chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photograph by Patrick Semansky/Pool/AP)

Although much of the world is still battling the pandemic, which has disrupted lives and continues to have an impact on several countries — not least Bermuda — world leaders gathered in Cornwall, England, for the G7 summit that saw America’s new administration under Joe Biden set out to repair cracks in international diplomatic relations left by the former administration, providing a glimmer of hope, towards easing global tensions.

There was little doubt that the international atmosphere was breathing a sigh of relief that in Biden was a leader who, while not perfect, was respectful and willing to listen and display an attitude that sharing thoughts in the spirit of working together is the only way forward. They also knew that words do not solve problems, and that only positive united action can bring about real change.

Just how successful the G7 summit was is yet to be determined. However, an impression sweeping most of the globe seems to be that America’s new administration was determined to show that respectful diplomacy would be its way of making strides towards solving many problems facing the world today.

In other words, unless leaders are prepared to exchange views on highly sensitive matters in a respectful manner, progress will be hampered.

It was perhaps that attitude that saw the G7 summit openly commit to seeking ways to improve action to protect the planet from climate change, which remains a threat without positive steps to curb fossil emissions from large operations that harm our protective shield from the sun’s powerful rays.

Ice melting in the Arctic from higher temperatures is a concern for scientists worldwide. They know that delay in taking action now could mean the time could come when no amount of action would save the earth from conditions most of us would rather not think about.

It was also good to see that leaders were in agreement in sending vaccines to assist smaller countries unable to get the vital shots necessary to prevent spreading of infections and loss of life from the coronavirus. Even the large countries are not totally out of the woods yet.

It will be quite some time for this pandemic is completely eliminated. Even here, Bermuda Government officials will need to be careful because as long as the virus is a threat, caution must remain a key element in decision-making.

Apart from the pandemic, the most powerful country in the world, America, still has a major issue — the problem of gun crime that seems to be on the increase. The country appears locked into a clause in the Constitution about the right to bear arms, and whether or not weapons should include powerful, rapid-firing rifles that are used generally for warfare. Officials seem reluctant to ban such weapons across the board out of fear it would trigger those gun lovers who seem willing to wage war themselves to protect their deadly weapons.

It will not be an easy problem to solve, but it must be solved unless the country is prepared to see more innocent lives taken as a part of American life. Life will always be more important than guns.

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration does provide hope, even though their hands are full on many issues of the day. Apart from the pandemic, the administration will be engaged in tackling racism with official attempts to make it more difficult for certain people to vote.

The country is yet to heal from negative elements in the political arena that claim the election was stolen from Donald Trump, even with all the courts finding such claims were without any proof.

The glimmer of hope that Biden and his administration are trying to bring to the nation and the world will need the support of all people who believe in truth, freedom and decency.

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Published June 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated June 25, 2021 at 6:10 pm)

A glimmer of hope

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