By Vic Carter

THURMONT, Md. (WJZ) — The G-8 is composed of some of the most powerful leaders in the world.  The group has been meeting for nearly 40 years, and this year’s gathering at Camp David will address some of the most critical issues facing us today.

Vic Carter reports.

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In Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains just 70 miles from the White House, the presidential retreat Camp David is about to take center stage for the annual G-8 summit.

“I can’t think of many times in history where it was more important for the nations of the world, members of the G-8, to be together on all this,” said Bob Schieffer, CBS News.

The group includes leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada.  They meet yearly to discuss issues of common concern.

University of Maryland professor Dr. I.M. Destler tells WJZ previous summits have focused on global security, the environment and financial policy.

Carter: “For most people, we are so far removed from the G-8. Why should we care about what happens those couple of days?”
Destler: “The thing that is going to hover over this summit is the weakness of the global recovery in the wake of the Great Recession.”

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The policies the leaders debate trickle down to everyday issues we all face, like gas prices, the cost of goods and how much our money is worth.

Carter: “The best we can hope for out of this is more trade and more jobs?”
Destler: “Yes, that’s the idea.  Get more economic stimulus, get more commerce between countries.  Every now and then these meetings make a real difference.”

As host of this year’s summit, President Barack Obama moved it from his hometown of Chicago to Maryland’s Camp David.

“It probably was a very good idea to move this meeting to a place where these people can actually get together and talk and not have to worry about going out immediately after the meeting and having to come up with some sort of a progress report or a sound bite. This keeps it very, very serious,” said Schieffer.

Why Camp David? Why is this a good place for these types of meetings to take place?

“The president would probably want to have a place where he thinks people can have some informal, as well as formal, contact,” said Destler.

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Two of the largest nations in the world are not members of the G-8, but are invited to participate this year. They are China and India.

Vic Carter