G8 summit opens in Canada's Muskoka (2)

10:08, June 26, 2010      

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) welcomes US President Barack Obama to the G-8 Summit at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, on June 25, 2010. (Xinhua/Pool)
The Iranian nuclear issue, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and progress in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East are also expected to feature in the leaders' discussions about international peace and security.

Multiple working sessions, including one with the African outreach leaders and another with the African outreach and the extended outreach leaders, will take place during the summit.

This year's summit is scheduled to end by Saturday noon, and will be followed immediately by a summit of the Group of 20 (G20), or the 20 major developed and emerging economies which account for 90 percent of global output, 80 percent of world trade and two- thirds of the world's population, in Canada's largest city Toronto on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

It is the first time for the two important summits to be held back to back in one country. This assumes special significance as the G20, although 24 years younger than the G8 -- originally G6 upon its founding in 1975 -- and only holding its fourth summit since 2008, has become increasingly influential in world economic and financial governance in the wake of the global financial crisis and ensuing economic recession.

Some observers say that with the G20 quickly emerging as the world's premier forum for international economic cooperation and policy coordination, the G8 needs to review and probably redefine its traditional role as a leader and pacesetter in global affairs.

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