Hours after the African Union joined the G20 on Saturday, a senior delegate from South Africa said the voice of the continent and the Global South will "grow stronger" globally after the AU's inclusion.
Speaking to PTI, the delegate who is in New Delhi currently for the G20 Summit, said that South Africa always expected that AU's inclusion will happen.
"We are very happy, especially considering that South Africa has always supported the inclusion of AU in the G20, which would give our continent a voice on a bigger platform globally, not only for the African continent but the Global South [as well]," she told PTI, on the condition of anonymity.
On India's Presidency of the G20, she said it was heartening to see AU's permanent membership of the G20 happen at the New Delhi Leaders' Summit.
The African Union became a new permanent member of the G20 on the first day of the summit being held in New Delhi. It is the first expansion of the influential bloc since its inception in 1999.
The South African delegate said her country had hoped that the inclusion of the AU in the G20 would be realised during the summit, "but of course it was just a hope from our side".
"This is certainly a very good thing, and in terms of development of our countries," she said, adding that it will bring them closer to other G20 nations.
The voice of Africa and the Global South is growing and its issues can now be raised on multilateral fora, the delegate said. "It can be a better world if we all worked together," she added.
All member countries of the G20 accepted Modi's proposal to bring the AU -- a key bloc of the Global South -- to the elite group of world's top economies.
"With support from all of you, I invite African Union to join G20," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said amid thunderous applause by world leaders at the summit.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar then escorted President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, to take his seat at the G20 high table.
The G20 member countries represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa is also attending the G20 Summit which got underway at the newly built international convention centre Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan on Saturday.
He is expected to address the media on Sunday, the delegate said, though there is no official word on it yet.
On South Africa's expectation from the summit, the delegate said that they were hoping for a conversation on "just transition" in view of climate change.
"If that conversation can be taken forward as we are leading up to COP 28 later this year, South Africa will feel a lot better in this regard," the delegate said.
The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the UNFCCC will convene from November 30 to December 12 in the UAE.
After assuming the presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2022, India held around 200 meetings related to the bloc across the country on a range of issues.
The New Delhi Summit will end on September 10. India's presidency of the grouping will end on November 30, after which it will hand over the baton of the rotating presidency of the grouping to Brazil.
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