This weekend the G-8 summit is being held at Camp David in Maryland.
List of G-8 attendees:
Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper France, President François Hollande Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy Prime Minister Mario Monti, Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ,Russia President Vladimir Putin, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, United States of America President Barack Obama, President of the G8 for 2012.
The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of eight large economies. (It excludes some members of the actual eight largest, such as China and Brazil). The forum originated with a 1975 summit hosted by France that brought together representatives of six governments: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, thus leading to the name Group of Six or G6. The summit became known as the Group of Seven or G7 the following year with the addition of Canada. In 1997, Russia was added to group which then became known as the G8. The European Union is represented within the G8 but cannot host or chair summits.
“G8” can refer to the member states in aggregate or to the annual summit meeting of the G8 heads of government. The former term, G6, is now frequently applied to the six most populous countries within the European Union. G8 ministers also meet throughout the year, such as the G7/8 finance ministers (who meet four times a year), G8 foreign ministers, or G8 environment ministers.
Collectively, the G8 nations comprise 51.0% of 2011 global nominal GDP and 42.5% of global GDP (PPP). Each calendar year, the responsibility of hosting the G8 rotates through the member states in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. The holder of the presidency sets the agenda, hosts the summit for that year, and determines which ministerial meetings will take place. Lately, both France and the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5.
With the G-20 major economies growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, world leaders from the group announced at their Pittsburgh summit on September 25, 2009, that the group will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.