chapter  12
WithPeter I. Hajnal
Pages 4

The Group of Seven/Group of Eight (G7/G8) system is a remarkable international forum and institution which has evolved in response to and in anticipation of economic, political, and other global developments. It has increased its institutional breadth by establishing regular and ad hoc ministerial meetings in an ever-greater variety of portfolios as well as through working groups and expert groups. Critics have characterised the G7/G8 as uneven in delivering on its commitments. The documentation of the G7/G8 system, in all its variety and dynamism, is the primary source of information about that institution and, beyond the G7/G8, a very important source on vital issues. The 1998 Birmingham G8 Summit issued fewer documents than its recent predecessors, even when one also considers the leaders’ documents released at the G7 heads’ level. The G7/G8 faces great challenges and opportunities to improve its composition, methods and effectiveness. In the post-Cold War world, the challenges are more diffuse and diverse than they were earlier.