India pushes for African Union's inclusion in G20

Indian PM Narendra Modi has written to the leaders of the G20 nations proposing the African Union be given full, permanent membership of the diplomatic group at its upcoming summit in India.
FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses after the ceremonial reception for South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa at the forecourt of India's Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, January 25, 2019.
FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses after the ceremonial reception for South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa at the forecourt of India's Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to the leaders of the G20 nations proposing the African Union be given full, permanent membership of the diplomatic group at its upcoming summit in India, an official source said.

Modi's proposal to grant the African Union full membership in the G20 demonstrates India's commitment to strengthening Africa's representation and partnership in shaping global affairs, the source said.

The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies. The members represent around 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

The grouping comprises 19 countries and the European Union. The G20 this year also invited nine non-member "guest" countries, including Bangladesh, Singapore, Spain and Nigeria, besides international organisations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, the World Bank and the IMF.

"This will be a right step towards a just, fair, more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance," the source said of the African Union proposal. "(The) prime minister is a strong believer in having a greater Voice of the Global South countries on international platforms, particularly of African countries."

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of 55 member states.

India began its year-long presidency of the G20 in December last year and will host the summit later this year.

(Reporting by Rupam Jain; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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