The Group of 20 top world economies has added the African Union as a permanent member.
This came as the annual G20 summit began on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at New Delhi, marking a major promotion for the African continent on the world stage.
There was general support for adding the AU to the G20, making it the second regional bloc to become a permanent member after the European Union.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi shook hands with the current AU Chair, Comoros President, Azali Assoumani, and embraced him warmly before inviting him to sit at the table.
In a post on X, Head of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat hailed the news.
“I welcome the African Union’s entry into the G20 as full member. This membership, for which we have long been advocating, will provide a propitious framework for amplifying advocacy in favour of the Continent and its effective contribution to meeting global challenges.”Moussa Faki Mahamat
Kenyan President, William Ruto, also opined that the African Union’s entry into the G20 will “give African interests and perspectives voice and visibility in this important body.”
“With Africa poised to grow in the coming years, a seat will allow it to shape the decisions of G20 to ensure the continent’s interests are advanced,” Ruto said.
However, the announcement of the AU’s membership of the bloc was slightly overshadowed by the news of an earthquake in Morocco, which happened late Friday night, September 8, 2023.
The head of the National Institute of Geophysics in Morocco noted that the earthquake is the strongest in a century in the country.
Modi offered help and support in his opening remarks at the summit.
“On behalf of all of us I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the people affected by the earthquake that struck Morocco a short time ago. We pray that all the injured people get well soon. The entire world community is with Morocco in this difficult time and we are ready to provide them all possible assistance.”Narendra Modi
The Moroccan interior ministry disclosed that the death toll in the earthquake has increased to 820, with at least 672 people injured.
World leaders such as Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.S President, Joe Biden and Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered their condolences.
Modi Announces Adoption Of Leaders’ Declaration
Also at the summit, Modi disclosed that the G20 has received consensus on a leaders’ declaration and announced its adoption.
“Because of our team’s hard work, and with your support, there is a consensus on the New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Summit declaration,” he said.
Finding consensus among members has been increasingly difficult in recent years, with key G20 members deeply divided over Russia’s war in Ukraine and how to pay for climate change.
Excerpts from the declaration include the agreement that all states must act in a manner consistent with purposes and principles of UN charter in its entirety.
Again, all states must refrain from threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state.
It also included a call on Russia and Ukraine to ensure immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers/inputs from Russia and Ukraine.
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