HomeAsiaThe Group of 20 top world economies added the African Union as...

The Group of 20 top world economies added the African Union as a member of G20

The Group of 20 top world economies added the African Union as a member of G20

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Group of 20 top world economies added the African Union as a member at their annual summit Saturday, and host India was able to get the disparate group to sign off on a final statement, but only after softening language on the contentious issue of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In the months leading up to the leaders’ summit in New Delhi, India had been unable to find agreement on the wording about Ukraine, with Russia and China objecting even to language that they had agreed to last year at the G20 summit in Bali.

The final statement, released a day before the formal close of the summit, highlighted the “human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine,” but did not mention Russia’s invasion.

READ MORE : G20SUMMIT : Group of 20 countries agree to increase clean energy but reach no deal on phasing out fossil fuels

It cited the U.N. charter, saying “all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”

By contrast, the Bali declaration had cited a U.N. resolution condemning “the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” and said “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine.”

Nazia Hussain, an associate research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the statement showed a “softening of the language on the war in Ukraine.”

“However, for New Delhi, getting out a joint statement with some reference to Ukraine, or a joint statement at all especially with both the United States and its western allies as well as China and Russia toughening their stance on the war, is a win.”

Many had been skeptical that there would be a final communique, which would have been the first time one was not released and have been a blow to the prestige of the G20.

Western delegations applauded the agreement, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz calling it a “success of Indian diplomacy.” He told reporters it was significant that in the end Russia had “given up its resistance” and signed on to the agreement that mentioned the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

A senior European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to be candid about the discussions, said the EU had not given up any of its position, and the fact that Russia had signed on to the agreement was important.

“The option we have is text or no text, and I think it’s better text,” he said. “At least if they don’t implement, we know once more that we cannot rely on them.”

Russian negotiator Svetlana Lukash described the discussions on the Ukraine-related part of the final statement as “very difficult,” adding that the agreed text had a “balanced view” of the situation., Russian media reported.

She said Ukraine wasn’t the only point of contention in reaching a statement, and charged that Western powers had tried to enforce the idea that “it’s the Ukrainian conflict that provokes all the crises in the world now.”

By contrast, there was widespread support for adding the AU to the G20, making it the second regional bloc to become a permanent member after the EU and adding momentum to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to give a greater voice to the Global South.

The continent was thrust into the spotlight as well by the earthquake in Morocco, which happened while most of the delegates gathered in New Delhi were asleep. Modi offered condolences and support in his opening remarks.

“The entire world community is with Morocco in this difficult time and we are ready to provide them all possible assistance,” he said.

He told leaders they must find “concrete solutions” to the widespread challenges that he said stemmed from the “ups and downs in the global economy, the north and the south divide, the chasm between the east and the west,” and other issues like terrorism, cybersecurity, health and water security.

Modi addressed the delegates from behind a nameplate that listed his country not as India but as “Bharat,” an ancient Sanskrit name championed by his Hindu nationalist supporters.

India PM Narendra Modi tweets, India is elated to welcome African Union as a permanent member of the G20.

India had made directing more attention to addressing the needs of the developing world a focus of the summit. at the summit — though it proved impossible to decouple many issues, such as food and energy security, from the war in Ukraine.

The summit came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said a landmark deal brokered by the U.N. and Turkey allowing Ukraine to export grain safely through the Black Sea will not be restored until Western nations meet his demands on Russia’s own agricultural exports.

The G20 urged the resumption of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer shipments from Russia and Ukraine, saying it was necessary to feed people in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Russia has been attacking Ukrainian port facilities, and the G20 in its final statement also called for an end to attacks on infrastructure related to the grain exports, and expressed “deep concern” about the effect of conflicts on civilians.

The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. Spain holds a permanent guest seat.

Follow Us: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube |