India and the UN Office for South- South Cooperation have launched a partnership fund that will support sustainable development projects across the developing world. The India-UN Development Partnership Fund will implement country-level projects that are catalytic towards achieving the 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. The collaborative initiative is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education and equality, and expanding access to clean water, energy and livelihoods. The fund was launched yesterday on occasion of the World Oceans Day at a special ceremony held at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in the presence of External Affairs Minister M J Akbar, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South- South Cooperation and Director of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Jorge Chediek and India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.
In a message, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres congratulated the government of India on its “strengthened partnership” with the United Nations system through the partnership fund.”South-South cooperation is a powerful tool as we advance, together, towards the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfil the promise to leave no one behind,” Guterres said in his message on the launch. Addressing representatives of Member States, United Nations organisations and non-governmental partners at the launch, Akbar said this is first time India is entering into a partnership with the UN in a triangular cooperation with fellow developing countries. “Capacities of nations may vary, but their rights and obligations do not. We are confident that this format would inspire the ability to meet the challenge of our times – shared prosperity.”
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He said growth which is not shared will no longer be sustained. “If the 21st century is going to be a egalitarian age, nations are no longer big or small, they are equal and sovereign,” he said. Managed by UNOSSC, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund will support Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world. Focusing on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), United Nations agencies will implement the Fund’s projects in close collaboration with partnering governments. “India is frequently praised for its contributions of manpower and resources towards shaping a better world,” Chediek said.
“The India-United Nations Development Fund we are launching today is yet another example of this notable leadership and drive towards ensuring that no one is left behind, both in India and worldwide.” A ‘Climate Early Warning System in Pacific Island Countries’ was announced as the first project to receive support from the new partnership. The project was formulated by India and the United Nations Development Programme in consultation with the Governments of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Tonga. The project will increase resilience to natural disasters in these seven Pacific island countries.