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    The African Union becomes a permanent member of the G20

    The African Union has been included as a member of the Group of Twenty (G20).
    Source: Reuters.
    Source: Reuters.

    “We are delighted that the G20 has accepted the African Union as a member of the G20,” SA President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday.

    G20 is the premier forum for international economic co-operation and it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues.

    The group comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom, and United States) and the European Union.

    The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

    In his statement on the Working Session I: One Earth G20 Leaders’ Summit, which took place in New Delhi, India, Ramaphosa called for countries to respond collectively, decisively and with urgency to climate change.

    “No country is spared the effects of climate change. It is vital that industrialised countries, which have the means and which carry the greatest responsibility for climate change, support sustainable development in developing economies.

    “For us to realise the vision of People, Planet and Prosperity, we need to meet our respective commitments and responsibilities. In doing so, we will be helping to create a world that is more equitable, more resilient and more sustainable,” the president said.

    Opportunity amidst crisis

    He said global reconstruction in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to accelerate the transition to low-carbon, climate resilient, sustainable societies.

    “Developing economies are bearing the brunt of climate change, despite carrying the least responsibility for this crisis. As African and other developing economy countries, we face the task of meeting our climate commitments in the midst of significant developmental challenges like poverty, inequality and unemployment.

    “Climate change, environmental degradation, unsustainable consumption and production and resource scarcity are challenges that can only be addressed collectively and with a great deal of solidarity. South Africa calls for an enhanced and expanded Global Partnership for Sustainable Development,” the president said.

    He said these efforts must be supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

    “Access to adequate and predictable financial resources from a variety of public and private sources is critical if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

    “Development partners need to both meet their existing commitments and upscale official development assistance. Ordinary people see billions of dollars being spent on the weapons of war instead of addressing development challenges.

    “In particular, development partners need to meet their commitments to capacity building and infrastructure development in low- and middle-income countries,” the president said.

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