In a landmark development, the African Union was made a full member of the Group of Twenty under India’s presidency of the G20.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his inaugural address of the first session of the Global Leaders’ Summit, announced that the African Union has been made a full member of the G20 on Saturday.
“Honoured to welcome the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 Family. This will strengthen the G20 and also strengthen the voice of the Global South,” wrote PM Modi on X.
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.
Following PM Modi’s announcement, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar accosted the 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. African Union is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa.
The move to include the African Union in 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.
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 be given full membership on their request.
In a recent editorial that has been published in 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.”
Prior to the first session of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, PM Modi welcomed the global leaders at the G20 venue, Pragati Maidan’s Bharat Mandapam. It was an occasion of all hugs and handshakes.
Later, PM Modi addressed the inauguration of the first G20 Leaders’ session, where he welcomed AU to join G20.
“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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called upon the international community to transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance. He stressed that it is time for the world to move together.
In his address at Session-1 on ‘One Earth’ during the G20 Summit being hosted under India’s Presidency, PM Modi said, “Following the COVID pandemic, the world faced a new challenge of trust deficit and unfortunately, the wars have further deepened this. But we must remember that if we can defeat a pandemic like COVID, we can also win over the challenge of this trust deficit. Today, as the President of the G20, India calls upon the entire world to transform this global trust deficit into trust and confidence. This is the time for all of us to move together.”
He further said, “In this time, the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ can be the torch bearer for us. Be it the divide between North and South, the distance between East and West, management of food and fuel, terrorism, cyber security, health, energy or water security, we will have to find a solid solid solution to this for future generations.”
PM Modi also invited the head of the African Union to take his seat as a member of the G20 as the first session of the Summit started in Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan. Following this President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani took his seat as the Union and became a permanent member of the G20.
Before the start of the proceedings of the G20 Summit, PM Modi offered condolences over the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. PM Modi said, “We pray that all injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”
Before the G20 Summit commenced, PM Modi welcomed world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK PM Rishi Sunak, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
As the leaders arrived one by one, they were greeted by PM Modi, in the backdrop showcased the Konark Wheel from Odisha. The Konark wheel was built during the 13th century under the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I. The wheel with 24 spokes has been adapted into India’s national flag embodying India’s ancient wisdom, advanced civilisation, and architectural excellence.
The rotating motion of the Konark Wheel, symbolizes time, Kalachakra as well as progress and continuous change. It serves as a powerful symbol of the wheel of democracy that reflects the resilience of democratic ideals, and commitment to progress in society.
The theme of this year’s G20 Summit, which is taking place under India’s presidency is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future.” Notably, India assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1 last year. (ANI)
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