G7 / G8

The Group of Seven (G7) is a forum for the leaders of seven of the world’s most industrialized nations, aimed at finding common ground to address some of the most challenging global issues. The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. While the leaders of these countries are in regular contact, they meet in summit format as the G7 once a year.

Between 1997–2013, the G7 met in G8 format as Russia was invited to join the group in recognition of the economic and democratic reforms it had undertaken at that time. In 2014, Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity led to suspension of participation in the G8, and a return to G7 format. G7 Leaders’ statements on Russia’s actions can be found here.

The G7’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. Canada subsequently joined the forum in 1976.

G7 and Canada

Why is Canada a member of the G7?

It is in the interest of Canadians that Canada participates in international discussions with its key partners. G7 membership enables Canada to promote and defend its broad foreign policy, economic and commercial agenda, and to help shape global developments on a range of issues, including responses to global crises.

How many G7/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 Summit in 2018.

G7/G8 2013

The 2013 G8 Summit took place on June 17 and 18 at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, and was hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The 2013 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. Additionally, G8 members discussed ways to foster trade, ensure tax compliance, and promote greater corporate and government transparency (3Ts).

Building on the leadership role played by Canada, which published the first comprehensive accountability report in 2010, the Muskoka Accountability Report, the UK published the Lough Erne Accountability Report. The Lough Erne Report was the second comprehensive G8 accountability exercise, and helped to demonstrate implementation by G8 members of their previous G8 commitments.

The Lough Erne agenda also 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. 

The next G7 Summit will be hosted in Brussels, Belgium on 4-5 June 2014.

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