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The Group of Eight G8 Industrialized Nations Council on Foreign Relations

what is g8

In the past, they have discussed financial crises, monetary systems, and major world crises like oil shortages, terrorism, and climate change. With the G8’s persistent focus on trade liberalization, summits are reliably targets of antiglobalization protests. Other critics argue that the exclusivity of the group results in a focus on the needs of industrial at the expense of developing countries. Russia formally joined the group in 1998, after steps toward democratization and years of gradual engagement with what was then the G7. With the Cold War over, several world leaders—particularly U.S. president Bill Clinton—encouraged Russia’s inclusion as a gesture toward Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Russia had neither a fully liberalized economy nor Western-style democracy, but G7 leaders hoped Russia’s inclusion would safeguard its democratic progress.

The aim is to try to tackle global problems by discussing big issues and planning what action to take. Since the G8 was intended as a forum for like-minded democracies, Russia’s backsliding toward authoritarianism has raised concerns among human rights advocates. The issue took on added significance in 2013 as Russia continued to support Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime with arms, financing, and diplomatic clout at odds with the positions of other G8 members. Within the last decade or so, the G8 has launched drives to counter disease, including HIV/Aids, and has announced development programmes and debt-relief schemes.

what is g8

However, the wealth and power of the G8 members means they are often listened to by other countries. In 2013 David Cameron is president as the summit is being held in Northern Ireland, part of the UK. Former U.S. President Donald Trump actively campaigned to readmit Russia to the organization and to be invited to the G-7 conference in 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to be in agreement with this idea on the condition Russian President Vladimir Putin end the Ukrainian conflict. While the current G-7 holds significant sway, it is not an official, formal entity like the United Nations (UN) and therefore has no legislative or authoritative power. The goal is to find solutions to pressing issues and increase international cooperation, compiling recommended policies and plans that its members can work collaboratively to implement.

G8 Countries: The Top Global Economic Powers

Though it inititally included only four member countries (the US, UK, West Germany, and France), it quickly added Japan, Italy, and Canada and became the Group of Seven (G7) in 1976. By design, the G8 deliberately lacked an administrative structure like those for international organizations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank. Russia was suspended from the group after other members disagreed with its annexation of Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine. By 2017, Russia announced its intention to permanently withdraw from the G-8, bringing the number of active members down to seven. Critics contend the G8 reflects an outdated, Western-centric view of the global distribution of power.

  1. When the group was formed in 1975, it was known as the G6, comprising France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  2. Group of Eight, intergovernmental organization that originated in 1975 through informal summit meetings of the leaders of the world’s leading industrialized countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan).
  3. The G8 summit is an annual meeting between leaders from eight of the most powerful countries in the world.
  4. Policy proposals are hammered out at ministerial meetings that precede the annual summit.

Some have challenged the entire premise of the G8 on the basis of inefficacy—and irrelevance. “We are now living in a G-Zero world,” political risk analyst Ian Bremmer and economist Nouriel Roubini have written. Policy proposals are hammered out at ministerial meetings that precede the annual summit.

Rotating leadership

Leaders of member countries, the United States, the United Kingdom (U.K.), Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, and until recently, Russia, meet periodically to address international economic and monetary issues. In 1999, in an effort to include developing countries and their economic concerns in the conversation about global issues, the G20 was formed. In addition to the eight original industrialized countries of the G8, the G20 added Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the European Union. The European Union is represented at the G8 by the president of the European Commission and by the leader of the country that holds the EU presidency. The six nations involved became known as the G6, and later the G7 and G8 after the respective entries of Canada (1976) and Russia (1998).

The summit is an opportunity for G8 leaders to have frank and open discussions about the important global issues of the day. In 2013 it will be the UK’s turn to shape the G8’s approach to these discussions with G8 leaders holding each other to account and agreeing concrete steps to advance growth and prosperity across the world. The Y8 Summit brings together young leaders from G8 nations and the European Union to facilitate discussions of international affairs, promote cross-cultural understanding, and build global friendships. The conference closely follows the formal negotiation procedures of the G8 Summit.[52] The Y8 Summit represents the innovative voice of young adults between the age of 18 and 35. At the end of the summit, the delegates jointly come up with a consensus-based[53] written statement, the Final Communiqué.[54] This document is subsequently presented to G8 leaders in order to inspire positive change. On the second day of the summit, leaders gather for an informal talk without lots of officials or the media.

what is g8

Group of Eight, intergovernmental organization that originated in 1975 through informal summit meetings of the leaders of the world’s leading industrialized countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan). Canada did not attend the initial meeting in 1975, and the president of the European Commission https://www.fx770.net/ joined the discussions in 1977. Beginning in 1994, Russia joined the discussions, and the group became known as the Group of 8 (G8) or the “Political Eight”; Russia officially became the eighth member in 1997. In March 2014 Russia precipitated an international crisis when it occupied and annexed Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine.

In the past leaders have discussed issues such as peace in the Middle East, aid for the developing world and how to stop terrorism. The G8 summit is an annual meeting between leaders from eight of the most powerful countries in the world. The Group of Eight (G-8) was an assembly of the world’s largest developed economies that have established a position as pacesetters for the industrialized world.

What does the Presidency involve?

The G-7 meets every summer in whichever country holds the rotating, year-long presidency. After more than three decades of existence, the Group of Eight (G8) is struggling to defend its relevance amid criticism of its limited membership and lack of a compliance mechanism. The G8 comprises seven of the world’s leading industrialised nations, and Russia. However, when Russia annexed the Ukranian region of Crimea in 2014, its membership in the G8 was suspended. The remaining members reverted back to the G7 name, and Russia officially withdrew from the group in 2017.

The forum enables presidents and prime ministers, as well as their finance and foreign ministers, to candidly discuss pressing international issues. Its small and static membership, however, excludes emerging powers from important talks concerning the global economy and international security, and as an informal grouping, states have little leverage over other members with which to secure compliance on agreements beyond imposing reputational costs. In 1973 the world experienced its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The finance ministers of the USA, UK, France and West Germany met informally to talk about how they could solve the economic problems linked with the oil price shock. In 1974 Japan was invited to the meetings and in 1975 the French President brought these informal discussions to the leaders.

Why do people protest at G8 summits?

The insights of the developing nations proved critical during the economic crisis of 2008, which the G8 leaders were largely unprepared for. At the G20 meeting that year, the leaders pointed out the roots of the problem were largely due to a lack of regulation in the US. This indicated a shift in power and possible lessening of the influence of the G8. Though the G8 was set up as a forum for economic and trade matters, politics crept onto the agenda in the late 1970s. Recent summits have considered the developing world, global security, Middle East peace and reconstruction in Iraq. The G-20 has the mandate to promote global economic growth, international trade, and regulation of financial markets.

Government activity

The original Group of 7 (G7) responded by indefinitely suspending Russia’s membership in the group, effectively dissolving the larger G8. In addition to a meeting of the countries’ leaders, the G8 summit typically includes a series of planning and pre-summit discussions ahead of the main event. These so-called ministerial meetings include secretaries and ministers from each member country’s government, to discuss the topics of focus for the summit.

Neither Africa nor Latin America is represented in the body, and Brazilian president Lula da Silva said in 2009 that the G8 “doesn’t have any reason to exist.” “The opportunity for unscripted, unfiltered, unmediated conversation amongst the world leaders at summits is something that routinely is mentioned as absolutely essential for potential breakthroughs, true understanding, and meeting of minds,” Patrick says. Since 2001, there has been a tendency for the summits to be held in more remote locations, with the aim of avoiding mass protests. The lengths to which security forces have gone to shield the politicians from demonstrators has served to reinforce the G8’s closed-door image.

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