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India Pledges $50 Million More to UN Partnership Fund

UN office for south-south cooperation. Credit: UN Photo

ROME, Apr 23 2018 (IPS) - At a time when funding for UN agencies is on the decline – and also threatened with cuts by the Trump administration—the Indian government has made an additional contribution of $50 million to development funding.

At last week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced the launch of a $50 million “Commonwealth window” to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

This contribution is in addition to $100 million pledged in 2017 for the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, thereby increasing India’s multi-year contribution to $150 million.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is managed by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

The new Commonwealth window aims to catalyze the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries of the Commonwealth.

The countries supported by this fund are located in various parts of the world and include some of the most vulnerable Member States of the Commonwealth.

Grenada, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are the first three development partners engaged under this newly created Commonwealth window.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund Commonwealth window supports demand-driven, country-owned, and concrete initiatives that focus on the implementation of 17 SDGs, according to the UNOSSC.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary of the UN said: “South-South cooperation is one of the world’s most important pathways to prosperity. I’m therefore delighted that India is demonstrating such strong leadership to helping others through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. India’s commitment is also timely, as the world strives to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. India’s focus on multilateral action generates genuine hope that we can build a world where no one is left behind.”

Fekita Utoikaman, UN Under-Secretary General and the UNSG’s High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States said: “India’s leadership and dedication to improve the living conditions of people living in the countries that are most affected by poverty, hunger, and impacts of climate change, bring us closer to achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. I am pleased to work together with India in advancing sustainable solutions in the countries of the Global south and in enhancing the opportunities for a prosperous and sustainable future for all.”

Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the UN said: “The establishment of a dedicated Commonwealth window of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund is a unique model of South-South development Cooperation. The Commonwealth membership is built on a shared past, respect for common values, broadly similar government structures, and institutions. We are, therefore, excited to initiate this partnership to contribute to our collective efforts to implement Sustainable Development Goals.”

Singling out India’s contribution, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner declared: “Over the past two decades, India has made huge economic strides and lifted millions out of poverty. It has shown itself again to be a leader in South-South cooperation with this new opportunity to support vulnerable countries in the Commonwealth, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and fulfill the central promise of Agenda 2030 to leave no one behind”.

“The Commonwealth Window of India-UN Development Fund is an admirable example of South-South cooperation,” said Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, and Director, UNOSSC. “UNOSSC is pleased and gratified to collaborate with the Government of India in bringing this initiative to fruition.”

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