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The Documentation of the G7/G8 System:


The documentation of the G7/G8 system, in all its variety and dynamism, is an essential source of information on vital issues. It is also a potentially rich mine of political, economic and historical data, although it calls for a fair amount of interpretation to get beyond its jargon-laden language and somewhat repetitive nature. It is equally important to look beyond the primary G7/G8 documentation to complementary sources, notably archives and writings about the G7/G8 and related issues.

A very recent trend may be discerned by the fact that the 1998 Birmingham G8 Summit issued fewer documents than its recent predecessors. Interestingly, this was more than offset by the proliferating output of the joint meeting of G7/G8 finance and foreign ministers in London on 8-9 May 1998. This shows a shifting of the workload and documentation from the leaders to their ministers--a welcome new development because it allows the leaders to concentrate on issues worthy of their time and attention. It is, moreover, a reflection of greater transparency in the work of the G7/G8. By making more of their documents available, the academic community, the media and the wider public will be better informed and in a better position to judge the work of the G7/G8, thereby increasing the legitimacy of this very important institution.

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This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
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Updated: June 25, 1998

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