Summits of the Group of Seven wealthy nations do not usually excite much interest in ordinary times. But these are not ordinary times.
The world leaders who gathered this weekend in Britain - in person for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck - need to convince a sceptical world that they can collectively get their act together on a range of major issues.
The pandemic, climate change, economic inequality, big-power rivalries, rising authoritarianism, and the role technology plays in life, are stirring public anxiety about the future. With such large-scale problems, there's a sense of powerlessness similar to when nuclear fears were high in the 1980s during the Cold War.
Can the leaders safely land this pandemic plane while also launching practical climate initiatives? The ragged, every-nation-for-itself, response to the coronavirus last year was not encouraging considering the climate challenges ahead.
G7 talks will focus on rebuilding from Covid-19 and preparing for more pandemics. With a big climate summit set for Glasgow in November, measures announced here on the environment will be table-setting commitments for five months time.
At present, the world is divided into haves and have-nots on the coronavirus. It is not a straight wealthy versus poor divide. It's about who has had access to a vaccine and who hasn't.
Developing countries are obviously the most vulnerable, but First World countries with low vaccination rates such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, still have work to do. All four are sitting below 20 per cent on charts tracking the share of their population that has received at least one dose.
Anything less than a completed vaccine programme by summer would represent a failure of organisation here, regardless of how it gets spun. Our population is only small and a third of us live in one area - the Auckland region.
Though New Zealanders have been told that our rollout targets are being exceeded, that's only because they are low. Many other countries are outstripping us. For instance, Scotland (population 5.4 million) has given at least one dose to more than 3.4 million people.
North America and Europe are in the strongest position because of high rates of vaccination thanks to early action. They are now focusing on vaccinating 12-to-15-year-olds and stockpiling doses for use as booster shots. Overall it must seem in the north that the worst is over. But mutating variants arriving from other areas remain a threat.
Clearly a global plan is required to ensure all regions have a reasonable level of vaccination by the end of next year. Realistically, progress will still be uneven.
This is where G7 countries, meeting this weekend in Cornwall, can hasten the beginning of the pandemic's end.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada at Carbis Bay beach resort. A Nato summit, European Union meeting and talks between the American and Russian leaders follow next week.
Bloomberg News reported that the G7 would pledge to provide a billion vaccine doses.
The US set the tone with news that President Joe Biden's Administration had agreed to buy 500 million Pfizer/BioNTech doses to be donated through Covax to poorer nations over the next year. That's on top of a previously pledged 80 million doses to other countries.
Countries have been under pressure to loosen their grip on stockpiled vaccines and also to ensure vaccine production is scaled up around the world. Australia wants to establish a production base for mRNA vaccines there.
Tax is another key topic with G7 finance ministers having agreed to a global system that would allow governments to tax firms wherever they earn revenue.
Putting the host nation in a tricky spot, the US wants Britain to compromise with the EU over Brexit border checks. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: "Any steps that imperil or undermine the Good Friday agreement will not be welcomed by the US."
The US will aim for a united front on China and Russia.
A leaked draft communique seen by Bloomberg has the G7 calling for a new investigation on Covid-19's origins and mentions China's treatment of Uighurs. AP reported that leaders will announce an infrastructure financing programme for developing countries in competition with China's Belt-and-Road Initiative. The Guardian said Russia will be urged to crack down on extortionist hackers responsible for ransomware attacks.
But, in Covid-19, the summit will have one theme to rule them all.