The African Union (AU), representing 55 member states across the continent, has achieved a significant milestone by securing permanent membership status within the Group of Twenty (G20), placing it on par with the European Union (EU), the only other regional bloc enjoying full G20 membership.
Previously, the AU held the designation of an “invited international organization.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his opening remarks at the summit, extended a formal invitation to the AU, represented by Chairperson Azali Assoumani, to have a permanent seat at the G20 leaders’ table.
Modi’s proposal, initially put forth in June, reflects a significant step in enhancing the AU’s global influence.
A draft declaration reviewed by Reuters ahead of the summit underscored the global consensus on this inclusion, stating that “We welcome the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 and strongly believe that inclusion of the African Union into the G20 will significantly contribute to addressing the global challenges of our time.”
The summit agenda also encompasses several pressing issues, including increased financial assistance to developing nations by multilateral institutions, reforms in international debt architecture, regulations concerning cryptocurrencies, and the impact of geopolitical conflicts on global food and energy security.
A 38-page draft circulated among G20 members notably left a section regarding the “geopolitical situation” blank, reflecting profound divisions over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
However, the draft indicated broad consensus on 75 other paragraphs, addressing subjects such as cryptocurrency regulations and reforms within multilateral development banks.
Formerly comprised of 19 countries and the European Union, the G20 collectively represents approximately 85% of the global GDP, more than 75% of worldwide trade, and approximately two-thirds of the global population.