G8 summit moved from Chicago to Camp David

Barack Obama has moved the planned G8 meeting of the world’s top nations from Chicago to the president’s fortified Camp David compound. The meeting of the world’s richest nations was originally scheduled for Obama’s home town of Chicago on 18-19 May. The G8 summit has often been a target for activists and was this year expected to attract massive protests from the Occupy movement and others.

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G8 summit moved from Chicago to Camp David

G8 pledges $38bn to Arab states as IMF recognises Libya

Finance ministers from the G8 group of industrialised countries have pledged nearly $40bn (£25bn) to several Arab countries to help with reconstruction and moves towards democracy. The money will go to Egypt and Tunisia, which overthrew their autocratic leaders, as well as Morocco and Jordan. In addition, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recognised Libya’s post-Gaddafi leadership. The G8 – the world’s richest countries plus Russia – is meeting in Marseille.

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G8 pledges $38bn to Arab states as IMF recognises Libya

G8 Countries – Member facts

All eight of the G8 countries are amongst the thirteen top-ranked leading export countries. The USA, Germany, Italy, France, Russia and Japan are among the top 10 countries with the largest gold reserves. Some of the world’s 18 largest major stock exchanges by traded value and market capitalization are in G8 countries (U.S., Japan, UK, Canada, Germany, Russia.) G8 countries are represented in the top eleven economies (by nominal GDP) of the world, according to latest (2010 data) International Monetary Fund’s statistics. Also, five countries of the G8 have nominal GDP per capita above US$40,000. (USA, Canada, Japan, France, Germany), from the same 2010 IMF data. The G8 nations also have some of the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, and most powerful militaries. Four of the eight nations are armed with nuclear weapons (France, Russia, UK, USA), three others have the capability to rapidly produce nuclear warheads (Canada, Germany, Japan), and some have nuclear weapons sharing programs (Canada, Germany, Italy).

A few of the world’s 10 largest oil producers (Russia, USA, and Canada) and the countries with the third and eighth largest oil reserves (Canada and Russia respectively) are in the G8. Seven of the nine largest nuclear energy producers are in the G8 (USA, France, Japan, Russia, Germany, Canada, UK), even though Germany will wean itself from nuclear power by 2022. The 7 largest donors to the UN budget for the 2011 annual fiscal year are in the G8 (U.S., Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada.) The G8 and the BRIC countries makes up almost all of the 15-nation “trillion dollar club of nations.” All of the G8 and G8+5 countries (minus South Africa) are in the top twenty nations that are ranked by the amount of voting power and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the IMF organization.

Source: wikipedia

G8 Countries – History

The concept of a forum for the world’s major industrialized democracies emerged following the 1973 oil crisis. In 1974, a series of meetings in the library of the White House in Washington, D.C. was known as the “Library Group”. This was an informal gathering of senior financial officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan and France. In 1975, French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing invited the heads of government from West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to a summit in Château de Rambouillet. The six leaders agreed to an annual meeting organized under a rotating presidency, forming the Group of Six (G6). The following year, Canada joined the group at the behest of Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and U.S. President Gerald Ford and the group became the Group of Seven (G7). The European Union is represented by the President of the European Commission and the leader of the country that holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The President of the European Commission has attended all meetings since it was first invited by the United Kingdom in 1977 and the Council President now also regularly attends.

Following 1994’s G7 summit in Naples, Russian officials held separate meetings with leaders of the G7 after the group’s summits. This informal arrangement was dubbed the Political 8 (P8) – or, colloquially, the G7+1. At the invitation of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and President of the United States Bill Clinton, Russia formally joined the group in 1997, resulting in the Group of Eight, or G8.

Source: wikipedia