The 35th G8 summit has drawn to a close in the central Italian city of L’Aquila.
Leaders from the world’s most industrialised countries gathered to take part in the informal forum and discuss world issues. They were joined by leaders from a host of other countries as well as representatives from global organisations like the UN and International Monetary Fund. Fending off accusations of lack of real progress, US President Barack Obama said unity was the only way forward: “We can either shape our future or let events shape at force. We can let stale debates and all disagreements of the past divide us or we can recognize our shared interests and shared aspirations and work together and create a safer and cleaner and more prosperous world for future generations. I believe it’s clear from our progress these past few days the path that we must chose.” Host Silvio Berlusconi said problems like the economic crisis and global warming have revealed the G8’s limitations – and suggested a larger grouping may be called for: “As far as I am concerned, I think the G14 will prove to be the way forward, in terms of having the most opportunity to take the most important decisions regarding the global economy.” The end of the three day summit was marked by a minute’s silence in memory of the 300 people of L’Aquila killed by an earthquake in April. The meeting was moved from Sardinia as a show of solidarity for the region.