The African Union has reportedly achieved a historic milestone by securing a permanent seat at the prestigious G20 summit, a gathering of the world's most affluent and influential nations. This significant development was formally endorsed by all member countries, at the request of the summit's host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India's invitation to the African Union arrives at a juncture when India, a BRICS member, has been actively advocating for multi-alignment, sticking to strategic autonomy, and avoiding alignment with any specific camp or alliance while promoting a multipolar world.
Previously, Africa's representation within the G20 was limited to South Africa's seat and the AU's status as a permanent guest. This recent admission marks the first alteration in the group's composition since its inception in 1999.
Before commencing his opening speech, Prime Minister Modi warmly welcomed African Union Chair & Comoros President Azali Assoumani. In his inaugural address to the summit, Modi announced India's proposal to grant the African Union permanent membership in the G20, a proposal that received unanimous agreement from the attending nations. With this consensus, Modi invited the head of the African Union to assume a permanent seat within the G20, signifying this historic moment by striking a ceremonial gavel.
Established in 2002, the African Union consists of 55 African nations, representing approximately 1.4 billion people and contributing to roughly 10% of the global economy. President Assoumani took his place alongside other world leaders, following an invitation extended by India's Foreign Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
In other news, the G20 summit, according to the sources, will discuss global matters of concern, including climate emergency. The G20 nations, comprising 85% of global GDP and responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, face mounting challenges in reaching consensus on critical geopolitical matters. These issues carry far-reaching consequences, especially for developing countries, which are most vulnerable to climate change-induced extreme weather events and food insecurity.