Negotiators at a recent Sherpa meeting on the outskirts of Delhi have reportedly reached an agreement to clear the way for the African Union (AU) to join the G-20. This development marks a significant step, as the 55-member AU will become a member of the G-20 alongside the European Union, making them the only two regional bodies in the group.
Although it remains uncertain whether the G-20 will undergo a name change, potentially becoming the “G-21” after AU’s induction, Bharat officials believe this announcement will leave a lasting impact on the Bharat Presidency’s efforts to incorporate the Global South’s aspirations into this economic alliance.
The Sherpas, who serve as personal representatives of G-20 leaders, will continue their discussions at the Delhi G-20 venue. Negotiations will persist until an agreement is reached on a draft declaration. Historically, G-20 summits have always concluded with a joint statement, and Bharat officials are working to ensure that this summit is no exception.
The primary focus is on resolving the “geopolitical issue” paragraph, particularly “Paragraph 6” of the latest draft, which aims to reference United Nations General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While progress has been made in recent days, disparities in language concerning climate financing, debt restructuring, and deadlines to phase out fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions persist. Notably, disagreements between the Bharat and Chinese delegations have been a recurrent theme, with both sides engaging in a constant exchange of perspectives.
Despite these challenges, membership of the AU in the G-20 appears to be a point of consensus. Both Russian and Chinese officials expressed support for this move, with China highlighting its active role in supporting the AU’s full membership in the G-20. Russia similarly expressed its early support for the AU’s inclusion in the group. This development underscores the evolving dynamics within the G-20 and the efforts to accommodate the interests of diverse regions and nations within this influential forum.