Canada has assumed the presidency of the Group of Eight industrialized nations for 2010, a year that will see the country play a much larger role on the international stage.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will host the leaders of the world's major economic powers in Ontario in June for an annual summit expected to focus on free trade, democracy and human rights.
Canada takes over the presidency from Italy, which presided over debates in 2009 on food security, as well as the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.
The G8 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia.
Canada will also chair this year's Group of 20 developed and developing nations, and host the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.