Leaders from the world's major industrialized nations meet from Monday in Hokkaido in northern Japan, for a summit at which African development, rising food and oil prices, and climate change will be high on the agenda.
Leaders at the July 7-9 summit will discuss a goal of halving global emissions by 2050 after agreeing last year in Germany to seriously consider the target.
Here are some details on the previous five G8 summits.
* FRANCE - EVIAN - JUNE 2003:
-- The G8 nations focused on the need to press ahead with structural reforms and greater flexibility in rich economies despite resistance, highlighted by public sector strikes, in host country France.
-- They sought to draw a line under bitter transatlantic differences over the Iraq conflict, which half the G8 opposed, saying all now agreed the time had come to reconstruct Iraq.
-- The summit was marred by violent demonstrations.
* UNITED STATES - SEA ISLAND, GEORGIA - JUNE 2004:
-- The summit agreed to extend a debt relief program for poor countries, but fell short of demands for a total write-off of loans owed by African nations to multilateral lending agencies.
-- G8 leaders said they would extend the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative, under which poor states can write off some of their debt, for two years beyond its expiry in December 2004.
-- They also stressed the need to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict as part of an initiative for political and economic reform in the broader Middle East.
* UNITED KINGDOM - GLENEAGLES - JULY 2005:
-- Leaders of the G8 said they would boost aid spending on Africa. But aid agencies argued there was little new money in the pledge from the summit in Scotland and accused the leaders of delaying the increases.
-- G8 leaders announced they would more than double aid to Africa by 2010, boosting spending by $25 billion a year from then.
-- They also said G8 nations and other donors would increase total aid for all developing countries by about $50 billion a year by 2010.
-- The G8 declared global warming required urgent action, but set no measurable targets for reducing the greenhouse gases that trigger it and thus contribute to climate change.
* RUSSIA - ST PETERSBURG - JULY 2006:
-- Group of Eight leaders launched a fresh bid to pin down an elusive global trade pact, seeking a positive outcome to a summit that was riven by discord over the Middle East.
-- A formal agenda of energy security, combating infectious diseases and promoting education held little controversy and required no financial commitment by G8 members.
-- Russia had to concede to European Union concerns over its conduct in energy markets to get agreement on energy security. But it did not bow to demands to ratify the Energy Charter, an international rulebook for oil and gas market activity.
-- Assistance to Africa, put at the top of the 2005 summit by British Prime Minister Tony Blair but initially ignored by Russia for the 2006 meeting, also found its way on to the agenda.
* GERMANY - HEILIGENDAMM - JUNE 2007:
-- G8 leaders agreed to consider seriously a global goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050 and pledged to negotiate a new global climate pact that would extend and broaden the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.
-- For Africa, the G8 pledged $60 billion to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, but the declaration set out no specific timetable, nor did it break down individual countries' contributions or spell out how much of the total funds had been previously promised.
Sources: Reuters/G8 websites