Accusations of vaccine nationalism are the latest flashpoints in what has been a febrile few years in the world of international diplomacy. But with three large international summits taking place in 2021; G7, CHOGM, and COP26, the need for effective international cooperation is more pressing than ever. Despite CHOGM's postponement since the completion of this issue, we look at these summits from a variety of angles, asking contributors from the very highest levels of international relations and diplomacy what their success means for the world. 

ROSL Chairman Alexander Downer AC asks if summits matter. Multilateral diplomacy in which the agreement many parties must agree, or at least compromise, on a way forward, is front and centre at these summits, and their success is critical to finding solutions to today’s global issues.

With a population of 2.4 billion across the Commonwealth, finding that compromise can be difficult. That’s why the Commonwealth Foundation's Critical Conversation events ask – and try to answer – the questions that really matter. Their Director-General Anne Gallagher explains all.

With the now-postponed Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) originally due to take place in Rwanda later this year, the UK Government’s Commonwealth Envoy, Philip Parham, discusses what has been achieved during the UK’s time as Chair-in-office ahead of the next summit. While Nabeel Goheer, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Deputy Secretary-General, explains what will be covered at the next CHOGM in Kigali.

Elsewhere, the next climate change summit, COP26, is due to take place in Glasgow in November, and the progress made in Paris five years ago needs to be built upon, with solutions fit for the whole world, no matter the size or prosperity of the country involved. Paul Arkwright CMG discusses the challenges facing sub-Saharan countries specifically.

And with Britain’s divorce from the EU finally complete as of 2021, is it time for the country to start forming new alliances? One suggestion is CANZUK, which would see the UK join forces with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, taking advantage of the shared history, language, culture, liberalised economies and more. Abi Millar discusses the merits and potential pitfalls of the idea.

Bringing things right up to date, the unequal speed of the vaccine rollout across the world is under the spotlight as Natalie Healey looks at the COVAX programme. Supposed to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all, is international cooperation failing to save the most vulnerable?

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