It was a moment of joy for the African Union as the regional bloc made up of 55 member states joined the G20 as a permanent member amid applause from delegates.
Prime Minister Modi invited the African Union to take its place at the G20 table as a permanent member.
He said, “I believe that inclusion of African Union will get the support of all,” Modi said as he invited the bloc’s chair Comoros President Azali Assoumani to address the delegates.
The plan to include the AU into G20 has received support from Washington, and the European Union announced its support on Friday.
For months, India has been lobbying for AU membership. Countries such as Russia, the United States, Australia, and Japan backed the proposal after Senegalese President Macky Sall proposed it while serving as the Chairman of the African Union in 2022.
Analysts believe the move will enhance the worldwide South’s voice – which India aspires to represent – and provide African states with a worldwide platform to highlight difficulties faced by poor nations, as well as a greater say in choices affecting them when made by more rich nations of the world.
The Group of 20 major economies now comprises 19 countries plus the European Union, accounting for around 85% of global GDP and two-thirds of the global population.
In December 2022, US President Joe Biden stated that he wanted the AU “to join the G20 as a permanent member,” adding that it had “been a long time coming, but it’s coming.”
On Tuesday, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, repeated the position while outlining the United States’ aims for the New Delhi meeting.
The African Union currently has 55 members, but six nations currently under military rule are suspended. The continental bloc has a combined GDP of $3 trillion and 1.4 billion people.