24th G8 summit
|24th G8 summit|
24th G8 summit official logo
|Host country||United Kingdom|
|Dates||15–17 May 1998|
|Follows||23rd G8 summit|
|Precedes||25th G8 summit|
The Group of Seven (G7) was an unofficial forum which brought together the heads of the richest industrialized countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada starting in 1976. The G8, meeting for the first time in 1997, was formed with the addition of Russia. In addition, the President of the European Commission has been formally included in summits since 1981. The summits were not meant to be linked formally with wider international institutions; and in fact, a mild rebellion against the stiff formality of other international meetings was a part of the genesis of cooperation between France's President Giscard d'Estaing and Germany's Chancellor Helmut Schmidt as they conceived the initial summit of the Group of Six (G6) in 1975.
Leaders at the summit
The G8 is an unofficial annual forum for the leaders of Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
|Core G8 members|
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
|Canada||Jean Chrétien||Prime Minister|
|Italy||Romano Prodi||Prime Minister|
|Japan||Ryutaro Hashimoto||Prime Minister|
|United Kingdom||Tony Blair||Prime Minister|
|United States||Bill Clinton||President|
|European Union||Jacques Santer||Commission President|
|Tony Blair||Council President|
Traditionally, the host country of the G8 summit sets the agenda for negotiations, which take place primarily amongst multi-national civil servants in the weeks before the summit itself, leading to a joint declaration which all countries can agree to sign.
The summit was intended as a venue for resolving differences among its members. As a practical matter, the summit was also conceived as an opportunity for its members to give each other mutual encouragement in the face of difficult economic decisions.
In 1998, the summit leaders proclaimed an "Action Program on Forests" with a pledge to report back on progress in 2000, but there is little evidence of follow-up action or programme.
For some, the G8 summit became a profit-generating event; as for example, the official G8 Summit magazines which have been published under the auspices of the host nations for distribution to all attendees since 1998.
- Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): Summit Meetings in the Past.
- Saunders, Doug. "Weight of the world too heavy for G8 shoulders," Archived 29 April 2009 at WebCite Globe and Mail (Toronto).5 July 2008.
- Reuters: "Factbox: The Group of Eight: what is it?", 3 July 2008.
- Reinalda, Bob and Bertjan Verbeek. (1998). Autonomous Policy Making by International Organizations, p. 205.
- Rieffel, Lex. "Regional Voices in Global Governance: Looking to 2010 (Part IV)," Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine Brookings. 27 March 2009; "core" members (Muskoka 2010 G-8, official site). Archived 2 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- MOFA: Summit (24); G8 Research Group: Delegations; "EU and the G8" Archived 26 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Sadruddin, Aga Khan. "It's Time to Save the Forests," The New York Times 19 July 2000.
- Prestige Media: Archived 19 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine "official" G8 Summit magazine Archived 18 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine