The G8

13 July 2009

The G8, which stands for the 'Group of Eight' nations, represents the world's major industrialised democracies.

It was formed in 1975 when the leaders of Japan, the USA, Germany, France, the UK and Italy met in Rambouillet, near Paris, to discuss the economic problems of the day. Canada joined in 1976, creating the G7. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was invited to join in 1998, bringing the number up to eight. All meetings of the G8 also include representation from the European Commission.

Every year there is one summit meeting attended by the leaders of the eight nations. In preparation for each summit DFID briefs the Prime Minister and his officials on key development issues and maintains a dialogue with the development ministries of the other seven countries.

The most recent summit of G8 Leaders took place between 8 – 10 July 2009 in L’Aquila, Italy, under the Italian presidency. For more details see the G8 2009 page and the Italian G8 website.

The next meeting of the G8 will take place in Canada from June 25 to 27, 2010. For more details see the Canadian G8 website.