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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

African Union Welcomed as Permanent G20 Member as Summit Kicks Off in New Delhi

Vice President Biden is set to advocate for increased climate action by major nations during the summit

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INDIA. New Delhi: The G20 leaders have made a historic decision to grant permanent membership to the African Union during their annual summit in New Delhi, marking a significant step towards increased representation.

However, the summit’s focus on the Ukraine conflict has exposed divisions within the bloc, with Western nations pushing for a strong condemnation of Russia while others prioritize economic matters.

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The summit, hosted in New Delhi, witnessed the arrival of prominent leaders, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at the opulent Bharat Mandapam conference complex, a venue worth $300 million.

The bustling metropolis of 20 million people faced temporary closures of businesses, offices, schools, traffic disruptions, and the removal of slums in preparation for the summit.

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Negotiators grappled with disagreements over the wording of the summit declaration concerning the Ukraine conflict, ultimately leaving it to the leaders to seek a possible compromise. This summit is poised to leave a lasting mark on the nation’s history.

The 38-page draft document distributed among G20 members surprisingly excluded the “geopolitical situation” item, although consensus was reached on all other 75 paragraphs.

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Amid mounting concerns over emissions reductions, Vice President Biden is set to advocate for increased climate action by major nations during the summit.

Given that G20 countries collectively account for 80% of global emissions, their positions on this issue will be closely scrutinized in the lead-up to the COP 28 conference.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India formally announced the African Union’s accession to the G20, with the aim of enhancing India’s global influence. He called upon the AU to become a permanent member of the G20.

Western nations and their allies are expected to play a dominant role in the conference, with notable attendees including Biden, Scholz, Macron, Sunak, Salman, and Kishida.

The United States has reportedly urged China to clarify its decision to abstain from the G20 summit, citing speculation that China may be prioritizing participation in BRICS, a group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as part of its efforts to reshape the global order.

As G20 sherpas engage in negotiations over a Leaders’ Declaration, disputes regarding the Ukraine War continue to loom. Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, insists that the final proclamation must accurately reflect Moscow’s stance on the conflict.

Achieving unanimity on the declaration remains uncertain, with the possibility of incorporating the views of other nations. Western countries have reached a consensus on including a paragraph addressing the situation in Ukraine.

Also Read: G20 Poised to Expand Membership to Include African Union: Reports


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