President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, the current African Union (AU) chairperson, arrived Friday in India for G20 summit meetings in which it’s expected that membership for the AU will be approved. Meetings will be held at the Bharat Mandapam in New Dehli.
“This is the first ever G20 Summit being hosted by India,” said the leader of the host nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I look forward to productive discussions with world leaders over the next two days. It is my firm belief that the New Delhi G20 Summit will chart a new path in human-centric and inclusive development.”
And atop that agenda is the admission of the African Union. “Our (G20) 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,” said Modi in a statement issued Thursday.
Western leaders, including those in the United States and European Union, have said they approve of a new “G21” with Africa’s inclusion. President Joe Biden, who arrived in India with other global leaders, said in December that he would seek to advance the AU’s G20 role.
“Africa belongs at the table in every room — in every room where global challenges are being discussed, and in every institution where discussions are taking place,” Biden said.
That commitment was reiterated this week by U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. “We believe that the African Union’s voice will make the G20 stronger,” he said.
Image: G20 India