Cape Town [South Africa], November 25 (ANI): Director General at the Research and Information System (RIS) for Developing Countries Sachin Chaturvedi has said the African Union (AU) joining the G20 can change the larger international architecture for Global South.
“We are taking the idea of the #GlobalSouth forward–in terms of how we look at this engagement and the concept of the #AfricanUnion joining the #G20 table, and how the performance and larger international architecture for the Global South can change,” the Think20 India Core Group member said while addressing the Cape Town Conversation event.
He was speaking at the session “Time for Africa: AU in the G20”.
Chaturvedi said that roughly two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 per cent of global trade were covered by the G20. With the inclusion of the African Union, “we have 77 per cent of the population, 88 per cent of GDP and 78 per cent of global trade.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his opening remarks at the 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit, invited the African Union, 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 accompanied the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani as he took his seat among world leaders.
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.
The RIS Director General, Chaturvedi said: “Africa is bearing a disproportionate burden of climate change. The African Union’s preparedness is also relevant here. How do we bring in coherence and experiences as compared to what we have seen in the past?”
Meanwhile, the African Union Commission’s former commissioner for human resources, science and technology, Sarah Agbor said that with the G20, “as we move from India to Brazil to South Africa, we have consecutive Global South presidencies. There are advantages to the African Union’s presence. The AU needs to take responsibility as Africans first and determine what it needs to do in the spirit of Ubuntu as it joins the G20. The G20 will give us opportunities to fulfil our own focus.”
Agbor said: “Collaboration between the members of the African Union is key, with coordinated efforts on #healthcare, education, science, tech and innovation. By 2063, the Africa we want is a self-reliant one. Fostering good governance is important. Where there is no #peace, there is no development.”
‘Cape Town Conversation’ is taking place from November 24-26 in the coastal city of Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town Conversations serves as an annual South Africa-based platform that brings together key stakeholders and new voices. It is designed as a common platform where established and emerging actors convene for a global conversation on contemporary issues of global governance –identifying new challenges, ideating possible solutions and shaping the world order of the future.
The Ambassador and Special Envoy of the President of the European Union Said Abass Ahamed said: “The question should be–why did it take so long to bring us to the table? We Africans need to make sure we sit at the table. We had a conversation on whether the Commission, which has a 4-year cycle, should lead at the G20 or a President who changes annually. The decision is on a special envoy appointed for 2 years.”
He added: “One of the big challenges remains the UNSC. Status quo cannot continue anymore. We need an African voice at the table there as well.” (ANI)