Intergovernmental organization that provides a forum for the world's leading industrialized countries to discuss noneconomic issues of global importance. The group originated in 1975–76 through informal summit meetings of the leaders of seven countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany (Germany from 1990), Italy, Canada, and Japan. It was known as the Group of Seven (G7) until Russia officially became its eighth member in 1998. There is no formal charter and a limited bureaucratic structure. At annual summits, leaders discuss such issues as terrorism, drug trafficking, human rights, regional security, and arms control. Collective recommendations are not binding, but they may be passed on to the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank. The G7 still functions when the agenda is limited to economic issues.

Variants of G8

G8 in full Group of Eight formerly G7

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