NEW ADDITIONThe African Union to Become a Permanent Member of G20 – India’s Prime Minister Modi Announces

New Delhi, India, September 9, 2023 – In a historic announcement, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed on Saturday that the African Union (AU) will join the Group of 20 (G20) as a permanent member. This momentous decision was unveiled during the inauguration of the G20 leaders’ summit held in New Delhi, where leaders from the world’s wealthiest nations gathered.

Prime Minister Modi, in his opening speech, extended a formal invitation to Azali Assoumani, the chair of the African Union, to join the G20 as a permanent member. The announcement was met with applause from the attending leaders, marking a significant development in the G20’s composition.

The summit, convened by Modi, comes at a critical juncture as global divisions intensify over Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Modi has assumed a leading role in facilitating discussions on pressing issues, including concerns related to the global economy and the urgent need to address the climate crisis.

“Today, as the president of G20, India calls upon the world to come together to transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance,” stated Modi during his opening remarks. He emphasized the importance of unity in addressing various challenges, ranging from economic disparities and geopolitical divisions to issues such as food security, cybersecurity, and climate change.

The African Union, comprised of 55 member states representing the African continent, has traditionally been an invited guest at G20 gatherings, alongside other prominent international organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. However, this announcement elevates the AU to permanent membership status, akin to the European Union, potentially redesignating the G20 as the G21.

This historic move positions the African bloc at the forefront of one of the world’s most influential global governance bodies. Modi, during his tenure as G20 president, has consistently advocated for stronger collaboration between emerging and developing nations, often referred to as the Global South, and wealthier countries to secure crucial financial support.

In a pre-summit interview with the Press Trust of India, Prime Minister Modi affirmed India’s commitment to Africa, stating, “Africa is a top priority for us even within the G20.” He highlighted India’s dedication to fostering inclusivity and cooperation among nations, underlining the significance of the Voice of the Global South summit held earlier in the G20 Presidency.

The decision to grant the African Union permanent membership in the G20 marks a significant step toward a more inclusive and representative global governance structure, reflecting India’s leadership in championing the interests of emerging economies and fostering international cooperation.


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