Title: African Union Granted Permanent Membership in G20, Marking a Significant Step for Global South
In a groundbreaking development at the G20 Summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the inclusion of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the Group of 20. This move is seen as a milestone in Modi’s efforts to amplify the voices of the Global South on the world stage.
During the summit, Modi emphasized the urgency of finding tangible solutions to various global challenges, including the north-south divide, terrorism, cyber security, health crises, and water security. The inclusion of the AU as a permanent member will help ensure that these critical issues receive the attention they deserve.
However, the absence of key players and growing global rifts posed challenges in reaching consensus on crucial matters. Notably, Russia and China chose not to attend the summit, thereby eliminating the opportunity for direct, face-to-face discussions with American and European counterparts.
Another notable aspect of the event was Modi’s government’s push for the use of the ancient Sanskrit name “Bharat” instead of India during the summit. This initiative reflects India’s cultural heritage and its aspiration to reclaim its historical identity in the international arena.
The G20 Summit’s agenda covered a range of significant topics, including alternative fuels, resource efficiency, digital public infrastructure, and food security. Climate action and financing emerged as key priorities for developing and emerging markets participating in the summit.
Human Rights Watch issued a plea to G20 leaders, urging them not to let political differences hinder agreements on critical issues affecting human rights. It emphasized the importance of prioritizing human rights amidst ongoing disputes and discussions.
The summit was held against the backdrop of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, with Russia refusing to restore a critical grain export deal until its demands on agricultural exports were met. This dispute further highlighted the complexities faced by G20 leaders in navigating global crises.
Additionally, thousands of Tibetan exiles staged a protest, condemning Chinese involvement in the summit and urging leaders to address the sensitive issue of Sino-Tibetan relations.
Prior to the summit, US President Joe Biden held a meeting with Prime Minister Modi to discuss various matters. Leaders were actively engaged in finalizing a joint infrastructure deal aimed at facilitating transit between India, the Middle East, Turkey, and beyond.
As the African Union secures its permanent membership in the G20, the Global South gains a stronger voice in shaping global conversations and policies. This historic development reflects a commitment to inclusivity and cooperation among the world’s top economies.
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