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G8 Summit

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Category: Other
Where: Nice, France
When: 1 Jun - 30 Jun 2017

The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six and also the G7 or Group of Seven) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of six countries in the world: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1976, Canada joined the group (thus creating the G7). In becoming the G8, the group added Russia in 1997. In addition, the European Union is represented within the G8, but cannot host or chair. "G8" can refer to the member states or to the annual summit meeting of the G8 heads of government. The former term, G6, is now frequently applied to the six most populous countries within the European Union. G8 ministers also meet throughout the year, such as the G7/8 finance ministers (who meet four times a year), G8 foreign ministers, or G8 environment ministers.

Each calendar year, the responsibility of hosting the G8 rotates through the member states in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. The holder of the presidency sets the agenda, hosts the summit for that year, and determines which ministerial meetings will take place. Lately, both France and the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5.

With the G-20 major economies growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, world leaders from the group announced at their Pittsburgh summit on September 25, 2009, that the group will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.

The most widespread criticisms centre on the assertion that members of G8 are responsible for global problems such as poverty in Africa and developing countries - through debt and trade policy; global warming - due to carbon dioxide emissions; and the AIDS problem - due to strict medicine patent policy and other issues related to globalization. During the 31st G8 summit in United Kingdom, 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh as part of the Make Poverty History campaign calling for Trade Justice, Debt Relief and Better Aid. Numerous other demonstrations also took place challenging the legitimacy of the G8.

One of the largest and most violent anti-globalization movement protests occurred for the 27th G8 summit. Following those events and the September 11 attacks two months later in 2001, the G8 have met at more remote locations. The 7 July 2005 London bombings were timed to coincide with the 31st G8 summit in United Kingdom.

The group has also been criticized for its membership, which critics argue has now become unrepresentative of the world's most powerful economies. In particular, China has recently surpassed every economy except the United States. Canada has been in recent years overtaken by Brazil, Russia and Spain by nominal GDP.

Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, has said: "We are committed to reforming the international system and our interests are best served by giving China a stake in the process. We would like to build with China the kind of relationship we had with the G-7.”

According to the mingle trend survey, 51% of Britons think the G8 summit is no longer an appropriate way of making world decisions


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