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African Union Officially Admitted as Permanent G20 Member

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The African Union (AU) was formally admitted as a permanent member of the G20 this Saturday, marking a monumental move in global diplomacy. This followed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal, which advances his international statesmanship optics ahead of next year's national elections.

Historically, Africa's representation in the G20, composed of 19 countries and the European Union, had been minimal, with only South Africa's seat and AU's guest status. This appointment sees the first significant shift since the block's development in 1999. Commemorated by a warm embrace between Modi and AU chair, Comoros President Azali Assoumani, the acceptance will amplify Africa's voice in influential international decisions.

In the midst of the newly expanded G20, a formidable sea and rail transport initiative that aims to connect India to Europe via the Middle East is on the table. This proposal may answer China's New Silk Roads and aligns with US President Joe Biden's objective to normalise relations across the Middle East.

Despite heightened concerns surrounding geopolitical issues, such as Russia or climate change, South African President Ramaphosa pointed out the urgent need for climate action, reminding attendants that "developing economies are the first to be affected by climate change."

The G20 now represents approximately 85% of the global GDP and is responsible for nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. The call for environmental action was echoed by Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who outlined the "unprecedented climate emergency" the world faces due to insufficient environmental commitment.

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