New Delhi: The African Union (AU), which represents 55 member states, on Saturday joined the G20 as a permanent member, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who kicked off the two-day G20 leaders’ Summit here, describing India’s G20 presidency as a symbol of inclusiveness.
At the opening session of the summit, AU Chair Azali Assoumani marked the Union's entry as a permanent member of G20, on Modi’s invitation.
In his opening remark, Modi called for a collective approach to resolving the challenges facing the world today and emphasised on the need to restore mutual faith that has been lost due to war. Without naming the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Modi said that the war has deepened the trust-deficit caused by the pandemic.
“India’s G20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion. This has became people’s G20," Modi said, adding that more than 200 G20 meetings have been held across the country and that the AU should also be given permanent membership in the group.
PM Modi said that the world needs a human centric approach to finding new solutions to persisting problems. He said that the trust-deficit on account of the Covid-19 pandemic got deepened by the war. If the world can defeat the pandemic, it can successfully tackle the trust-deficit also, Modi said.
Modi’s reference to trust-deficit comes in the context of hectic last minute parleys taking place among world leaders, brokered by New Delhi, to agree on the language of the final joint declaration at the end of the summit, overcoming the deep divisions within the group due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Modi expressed confidence that trust in relationships between nations can be regained. He also said the principle - Sab ka Sath, Sab ka Vikas, Sab ka Vishwas and Sab ka Prayas (everyone's support, everyone's development, everyone's faith, everyone's effort)-can show the path.
Modi added that world leaders have to move towards solutions for the pressing matters in the case of food, fuel, fertilizer management, terrorism, cyber security, health, energy and water security.
The two-day G20 Leaders' Summit is the high point of India’s presidency of the grouping and comes after several rounds of official and ministerial level meetings.
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