INTERNATIONAL DESK: The African Union has been made a permanent member of the Group of 20 countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
In his opening remarks at the 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit, PM Modi invited the AU, represented by Chairperson Azali Assoumani, to take a seat at the table of G20 leaders as a permanent member.
“With everyone’s approval, I request the AU head to take his seat as a permanent G20 member,” Modi said in his address.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar accosted President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani as he took his seat among world leaders.
Adding the African Union as a member of G20 was among India’s key aims to achieve during the ongoing G20 summit. The move to include the African Union into the G20 grouping was proposed by PM Modi earlier this June.
“Before we start the proceedings of G20, I want to express my condolences over the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. We pray that all injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time, PM Modi said in his inaugural address.
Chairperson of AU Assoumani had arrived in the national capital on Friday. He was received by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways, Raosaheb Danve at the New Delhi airport.
In June 2023, Prime Minister Modi said that he had written to G20 counterparts to provide the African Union with full membership at this G20 Summit.
PM Modi had proposed that AU, a bloc of 55 countries from the African continent that was launched in 2002, be given full membership on their request.
In a recent editorial that has been published across newspapers, PM Modi wrote “The voice of Global South Summit, which witnessed participation from 125 countries, was one of the foremost initiatives under our Presidency. It was an important exercise to gather inputs and ideas from the Global South. Further, our Presidency has not only seen the largest-ever participation from African countries but has also pushed for the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.” (ANI)