President Bush hosted the 30th G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia on June 8-10, 2004. The United States assumed the Presidency of the G8 from France at the beginning of 2004.
The G8 Summit brings together the Leaders of the world's major industrial democracies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union also attends the G8 Summit, represented by the President of the European Commission and the Leader of the country holding the Presidency of the European Council. At previous Summits, Leaders have discussed a wide range of international economic, political, and security issues.
The G8 began with a 1975 Summit in France of six countries ( France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States). Canada joined the group at the San Juan Summit of 1976, and the European Community began participation at the London Summit of 1977. Starting with the 1994 Naples Summit, Russia attended the political sessions and at the 1998 Birmingham Summit, Russia began participating in all sessions.
The Presidency of the G8, and responsibility of hosting the G8 Summit, rotates each year. Italy hosted the G8 Summit in Genoa in 2001, Canada hosted in Kananaskis in 2002, and France hosted in Evian in 2003. The United Kingdom will host the G8 Summit in 2005 and Russia will host in 2006.
Sea Island is located on the southern portion of the Georgia coastline, 80 miles from Savannah, Georgia. Previously, the United States hosted G8 Summits in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico (1976), Williamsburg, Virginia (1983), Houston, Texas (1990) and Denver, Colorado (1997).