The African Union becomes a member of the Group of Twenty, an international partnership. This was announced by Indian Prime Minister Modi at the beginning of the G20 summit in his country.
The African Union will be the second union to join the economic partnership. The European Union is also part of the group of countries. According to the G20, in the run-up to the summit, the member states collectively accounted for about 80 percent of the world’s gross national product.
“I invite the representative of the African Union to take his seat as a permanent member of the G-20,” Modi said in his opening remarks. This announcement was met with applause. The host country of the Group of Twenty made many preparations for the success of the New Delhi summit, which will continue until Sunday.
The prime minister had previously declared that India would “become the voice of the global south”. He says he is defending the emerging economies of the South. Until now, South Africa has been the only African member of the G20. Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina and Australia are also southern members.
Not India but Bharat
A striking detail was the nameplate on Moody’s table. Instead of India, “Bharat” was said to refer to his country. In the run-up to the summit, there were already more indications that the Indian authorities might want to change the country’s name. The name Bharat is synonymous with the word “India” in the country itself, but even now the term is rarely used in an international context.
In ancient Hindu texts, the term Bharat is used to refer to the descendants of King Bharata. One of the most important texts in Hinduism is called the Mahabharata, which can be translated as “the great story of the Bharata dynasty”.
This may explain why the current Hindu nationalist government in India gives Bharat more credibility. The opposition criticized the prospect of changing the name.
Division over the war in Ukraine
The elephant in the room above is the war in Ukraine. There is great division among member states on this matter. Western countries condemn the Russian invasion and want to impose more sanctions on Moscow, but countries such as South Africa, China, Brazil and India have a more nuanced view of the conflict and want the summit to focus more on economic cooperation.
The big question now is whether it is possible to reach wording for the final declaration that all countries can agree on. Sources told Reuters that this matter is still being worked on and it is not yet clear whether the topic will be included in the final statement.
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