The Group of Eight, often nicknamed G-8, is an organization composed of eight of the most powerful and influential countries in the world. Composed of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan, this gathering of nations is of both a political and economic nature.
Their annual meetings therefore touch on a variety of pressing issues encompassed by these two major areas of concern. Since there is no set office for this organization, the role of host for the year is to provide the venue for talks, as well as take care of all other concerns related to the meetings. Logistics and security are two of the most important considerations on this list of requirements, especially since participants are high-profile officials. Furthermore, the annual G-8 talks are often controversial because of the nature of the issues they tackle.
One of the reasons why the G-8 talks are seen to be very important is that these meetings serve as a venue for discussions on international economic policies, international peacekeeping efforts, and similar areas of concern. In recent years, more attention has been given to the issue of climate change. Although this may initially be seen as an environmental issue only, the extent of change and its effects on the international economy and basic survival has made it a particularly pressing concern.
The composition of the G-8 as well as its power to influence international economic policies make it an easy target for criticism, especially from groups who are against the effects of globalization, particularly on developing nations.