G8 Research Group members to visit UGA Oct. 2 and 3 to discuss prospects for upcoming Sea Island Sum

ATHENS, Ga. – When President George W. Bush hosts the 30th G8 Summit next June, all eyes will be on Georgia as the leaders of the world’s eight most industrialized nations meet on Sea Island to discuss a wide range of international economic, political and security issues.

In advance of the summit, two members of the G8 Research Group will visit the University of Georgia campus on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2 and 3, on their way to Sea Island. Group director John Kirton and managing director Madeline Koch will meet with UGA faculty and students throughout the day on Thursday to discuss their work regarding the G8, and Kirton will deliver an address titled “The G8 and Prospects for the Sea Island Summit” in the Chapel on Friday at 2 p.m. The address is free and open to the public.

“The visit and lecture will help inform our university and broader community about the significance of the Sea Island summit. What will happen at the summit? What are the opportunities for Georgians and how do we take advantage of the international attention that will be focused on our state,” said Gary Bertsch, director of UGA’s Center for International Trade and Security and a university professor of public and international affairs.

Founded and directed by Kirton, the G8 Research Group serves as the world’s leading independent source of information, analysis and research on the institutions, issues and members of the G8 (membership includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States with participation by members of the European Union as well).

Established in 1987 at the University of Toronto, the G8 Research Group consists of a global network of scholars, professionals in the media, business, government and research communities, and students interested in the ongoing activity of the G7 and G8, and such closely related bodies as the G20.

Kirton, a scholar, fellow and research associate, also manages the award-winning G7 Information Centre Web site (www.g7.utoronto.ca) and its companion site for the G8 (www.g8online.org). He is series editor of Ashgate Publishing’s G8 and Global Governance series. In 1992-93, Kirton served as a special projects officer in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, devising a strategy for Canada’s G7 participation. As vice-president of Kirton Associates, he has conducted media analyses of the G7/8 Summits on behalf of Canada’s foreign affairs department. As a member of the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, an advisory body to the Prime Minister of Canada, he participated in the preparation of advice for the 1995 Halifax Summit. He was a member of the Canadian government’s International Trade Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1997.