The G8 group's member countries are Canada, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with the European Union represented by the European Council's duty President and by the President of the European Commission.
The annual Leaders' Summit is the highest-profile and most important event in the G8 process, but that process does in fact cover the whole year, with meetings at the ministerial and ranking functionary levels.
This handout photo provided by G8/ANSA shows the participants the Group of Eight (G8) (L to R) Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, and Head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso posing for a family photo during the G8 summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 8, 2009. Group of Eight leaders kick off talks today on issues ranging from the global financial crisis to climate change to the situations in Iran and Xinjiang, China.*
The main issues on the Italian Presidency's agenda are: a response to the global economic and financial crisis; the restoration of grassroots confidence and a boost to growth on a more solid and balanced basis, also through the definition of new, shared ground rules for economic activities; a focus on the social aspect of employment, to help the weaker sectors of society both in the industrially advanced countries and in the poorer countries; the struggle against protectionism and the deregulation of world trade for everyone's benefit; the resolution of regional crises; food security and safety; and the struggle against climate changes.
To debate these issues, the Italian Presidency has organized a G8 Summit which will be unique in terms of the number of countries attending, comprising as it will both the emerging countries, Africa and the main International Organizations. Some 90% of the world's economy will be represented at the Summit in the expanded working sessions. G5 leaders (L to R) Manmohan Singh, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo pose for a family photo during the Group of Eight (G8) summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 8, 2009. Group of Eight leaders kick off talks today on issues ranging from the global financial crisis to climate change to the situations in Iran and Xinjiang, China. Summit Proceedings: G8 Statement on the Global Economy, Climate Change, Development and Africa ~ With the publication of the "Proceedings" page, the G8 website nears completion and gets set to host the Chair's Summary on the 2009 Summit at the end of the three-day event. The "Summit Proceedings" page will carry the "G8 Statement on the Global Economy, Climate Change, Development and Africa" at the end of the 8 July session devoted to the International Economy.