Modi welcomes African Union as permanent G20 member
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the African Union's permanent membership at the G20 taking place in India starting September 9, 2023.
The African Union is to be welcomed as a permanent member of the G20 during the upcoming session of the G20 leaders' summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday.
Asian News International quoted Modi saying that "India's G20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion, of 'sabka saath' [Together] both inside and outside the country," adding that "this has become people's G20 in India. Crores of Indians are connected to this. In more than 60 cities of the country, more than 200 meetings have taken place. With the sense of 'Sabka Saath,' India had proposed that the African Union be granted permanent membership of G20. I believe that all of us agree to this proposal."
Chairperson of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, following Modi’s remarks, took a seat as a permanent G20 member.
A Bloomberg report published on September 7, explained that this transition would elevate the African Union, comprising 55 member states, to a standing equivalent to that of the EU, replacing its current categorization as an "invited international organization."
G20 without Xi, Putin present
Leaders of G20 countries have began arriving in India's capital New Delhi, with notable absences being Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During the two-day summit beginning on Saturday, various disputed issues will be discussed, such as the war in Ukraine, the gradual transition away from fossil fuels, and debt restructuring, which could complicate the issuance of a concluding statement on Sunday.
The Kremlin announced earlier that Putin would not be attending the meeting, rather, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would represent Russia accompanied by a delegation.
On the same note, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is representing China instead of President Xi.
A report by CNN earlier today pointed out how Chinese President Xi Jinping's no-show at the G20 summit, which marks his first absence since becoming President, is raising concerns among Western leaders that China is transmitting a clear message about its ambitions to reshape global governance. His decision to skip this year's summit had been met with speculation, but no official explanation was made.