The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the leaders of eight of the world’s most industrialized nations, aimed at finding common ground on key topics and solutions to global issues. The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. While the leaders of these countries are in regular contact, they meet in summit format as the G8 once a year.

The G8’s origin stems from meetings held in the 1970s between France’s Valéry Giscard D’Estaing and Germany’s Helmut Schmidt when they were finance ministers. Each subsequently assumed the leadership of their respective countries, just as the mid-1970s oil crisis was buffeting the world’s largest economies. French President Giscard D’Estaing urged the leaders of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to meet in 1975 to discuss how to respond to the oil crisis.

G8 and Canada

Why is Canada a member of the G8?

It is in the interest of Canadians that Canada participates in international discussions with its key partners. G8 membership enables Canada to pursue its broad foreign and economic policy agenda and interests, and to help shape global developments on a range of issues, including responses to global crises.

How many G8 Summits has Canada hosted?

Muskoka (2010) was the fifth Summit Canada has hosted. The previous four Summits were held in Ottawa-Montebello (1981), Toronto (1988), Halifax (1995) and Kananaskis (2002).  Canada will host its next G8 Summit in 2018.

G8 2013

The 2013 G8 Summit took place on June 17 and 18 at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, and was hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. The G8 Summit brings together the leaders of Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to address pressing world issues.

This year’s agenda focused on the state of the global economy, including ways to foster stronger and more sustainable growth.

G8 leaders also addressed international political and security challenges, such as those in Syria, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and the Sahel.

G8 members also discussed ways to advance trade, ensure tax compliance, and promote greater corporate and government transparency (3Ts).

Building on the leadership role undertaken by Canada with the 2010 Muskoka Accountability report, the Lough Erne Accountability Report, published June 7, 2013, helps to ensure that G8 members are accountable for previous G-8 commitments.

The Lough Erne agenda followed up on ongoing G8 priorities, including the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the Deauville Partnership and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.  For more information on the UK’s priorities for 2013, please visit the official website.

The next Summit will be hosted in Sochi, Russia on 4-5 June 2014.

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