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Gabrielle M. Etzel, Healthcare Reporter


NextImg:G20 summit reaches consensus day earlier than anticipated

Political leaders of the world's largest economies reached a consensus agreement at the G20 Summit in Dehli, India, on Saturday, coming together ahead of schedule on a broad economic agenda that addresses rising prices and climate change.

Although the topic of the war in Ukraine was expected to derail the conversation among the divided G20 members, Indian diplomats, who have consistently remained neutral on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, successfully steered talks toward the economic fallout from the war as food and energy prices continue to rise globally.

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India's primary focus as host of the talks was to emphasize solutions to problems unique to the global south, a key strategic goal of the south Asian giant.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the summit.

African Union invited to join the G20

The African Union was invited to become a permanent member of the global economic leadership group on Saturday, joining South Africa as formerly the only member from the continent.

The 55 member states of the union represent the fastest-growing economies, populations, and cities on the planet. Africa as a whole has 1.4 billion people, with some of the largest birth rates, with the African population anticipated to be 1/4 of the total world population by 2050.

As home to a variety of renewable energy sources and other natural resources, a key goal of the AU moving forward will be to encourage meaningful solutions to the problems of climate change, for which it has currently taken a large portion of the burden.

President Joe Biden pushed for the AU to join the G20 at last year's summit in Indonesia, saying that the invitation "has been a long time coming."

Addressing climate change took center stage.

Accelerating progress on achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 was a central platform of the agreement on Saturday.

"At the midway point to 2030, the global progress on SDGs is off-track with only 12 percent of the targets on track. During this Decade of Action, we will leverage the G20’s convening power and its collective resolve to fully and effectively implement the 2030 Agenda and accelerate progress toward the SDGs, in a timely manner, to shape the world we want to see for our future generations," reads the declaration.

Along with these goals come significant economic commitments to improving access to education, addressing the macroeconomic effects of food insecurity, and strengthening financial investment in the World Health Organization.

Director General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the G20's declaration, saying that economic restructuring is essential to meet the health needs of both people and the planet.


Improving digital infrastructure

Another central provision of the agreement is a commitment to building a more solid digital infrastructure across the globe and increasing public trust in the future of a digital economy.

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Member states pledged their commitment to exploratory talks on the macro-financial implications of adopting Central Bank Digital Currencies and the need for greater regulation of crypto-assets.

Indian President Narendra Modi has heavily invested in a state-controlled digital system on which public and private apps and websites can be built, which some experts contend is a vital starting point for countries that have lagged behind in technological development.