Prime Minister Tony Blair flies to Russia tomorrow for a G8 summit set to be dominated by talks on energy and world trade.
Africa and education will also feature on the agenda, along with the continuing fight against infectious diseases and HIV/Aids.
Mr Blair will make a presentation to fellow leaders on Monday on the progress on Africa since last year's Gleneagles G8, which he hosted.
Along with the G8 countries - the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Russia - other nations such as India, China, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil will be represented at the St Petersburg gathering.
It is the first time Russia has hosted the summit after joining the group of the world's leading industrialised democracies.
The now ritual anti-globalisation protests are also expected, with more than 1,000 demonstrators reported to be preparing to make their voices heard at the three-day summit, though they will be kept miles away from the leaders.
Russia's chosen themes for the gathering are global energy security, education and the fight against infectious diseases.
But Downing Street said they also expected the stalled development of World Trade Organisation talks to feature prominently - even though Russia is not a WTO member and the European countries are presented at the WTO by the EU Commission.
Senior WTO officials will not be at the summit either.
"Global trade will feature heavily in the discussions," said Mr Blair's official spokesman.
The Premier wants a world summit to try to break the talks deadlock.
Mr Blair's spokesman also stressed that progress was continuing on the Gleneagles agenda of Africa and climate change. But he went on: "We recognise fully we haven't made sufficient progress on trade."
The WTO talks are supposed to bring benefits to the developing world by scrapping tariffs and protectionist measures allowing emerging economies to trade more freely with the rest of the world.
On energy security and climate change, the summit may also achieve some practical measures, such as curbing the practice of gas "flaring", where gaseous byproducts of the oil industry are burnt off, adding to CO2 emissions.
"Nobody believes that the G8 by themselves can solve the world's problems," said Mr Blair's spokesman.