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Biden backs African Union spot in G20

#Biden #backs #African #Union #spot #G20

US President Joe Biden at a summit next week will back a permanent spot for the African Union in the Group of 20 major economies, seeking to elevate the continent’s role, the White House said Friday.

Biden will make the announcement during a three-day US-Africa Summit that opens Tuesday in Washington, where the administration will make a case for US commitment to the continent amid inroads by China and Russia.

“It’s past time Africa has permanent seats at the table in international organizations and initiatives,” said Judd Devermont, the senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council.

“We need more African voices in international conversations that concern the global economy, democracy and governance, climate change, health and security,” he said.

He said the United States would discuss the African Union’s role with India, the G20 president for 2023.

South Africa currently is the only African member of the G20, which was launched in its current form during the 2008 financial crisis as a way to bring together the world’s top economies. The European Union participates.

Biden’s pledge on the G20 comes after he threw his support behind expansion of the UN Security Council, including representation of Africa, during a speech to the world body in September.

While few expect quick changes at the Security Council, the stance pits the United States against China and especially Russia which are seen as opposed to any move to dilute their veto power.

The Biden administration has backed the African Union’s diplomatic role on the continent and sought warm ties with the bloc’s current chair, Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is expected at the Washington summit.

Host Indonesia invited Sall to take part in the latest G20 summit last month in Bali.

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