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Welcome A s the USA welcomes the participants of the G8 and NATO summits, the world faces multiple challenges including political transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, food security, climate change, nuclear safety and threats to human rights. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, who is the host of both summits, explains at a White House Press Conference the idea of splitting the two events, with the G8 meeting being held at the Maryland presidential retreat of Camp David and the NATO members gathering in Chicago.Typically, what happens is that we try to attach the G8 summit to the NATO summit so that the leaders in the G8 summit do not have to travel twice to whatever location.  Last year, in France, we combined a G8 with a NATO summit.  We will do so again. I have to say, this was an idea that was brought to me after the initial organising of the NATO summit.  Somebody pointed out that I had not had any of my counterparts, who I have worked with now for three years, up to Camp David.  G8 tends to be a more informal setting, in which we talk about a wide range of issues in a pretty intimate way.  And the thinking was that people would enjoy being in a more casual backdrop.  It will give me a chance to spend time with Mr Putin, the new Russian President.  And from there, we will then fly to Chicago.I always have confidence in Chicago being able to handle security issues.  And I am sure that your new mayor will be quite attentive to detail in making sure that everything goes off well.This is an excerpt from a 6 March 2012 Press Conference given by President Barack Obama at the White House. For further information please visit: www.whitehouse.govPictured Right: Barack Obama, President of the United States of AmericaBelow: Truman Balcony of the White HouseBarack Obama, President, the United States of AmericaThe G8 and CLIMATE CHANGEThe G8 member states underscore their interest in promoting global growth, prosperity, peace and stability; recognise climate change as a contributing factor to increased security risks globally; and intend to continue to work domestically and multilaterally to address climate change. In Presidential Statement 2011/15, the President of the UN Security Council stated that "the Security Council expresses its concern that possible adverse effects of climate change may, in the long run, aggravate certain existing threats to international peace and security". The G8 fully support the decision of the Parties to the UNFCCC to launch a process to develop a new climate change agreement applicable to all Parties. The G8 notes that international climate policy and sustainable economic development should be mutually reinforcing in order to limit negative security implications of climate change.A quote from the Statement of the Chair of the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on 12 April 2012. Source: The US Department of State Credit: Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy; Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy020 g8 member countries

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