The value of the Fund is that it demonstrates a common desire to achieve 2030 Agenda and the spirit of partnership that is now embedded in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 17.
With Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA)+40 Conference scheduled for March 2019, India, Brazil & South Africa (IBSA) – drawn from three continents joined hands to promote South-South cooperation (SSC) as they celebrated the 15th anniversary of IBSA Fund at the UN on Wednesday.
With a cumulative contribution of $ 35 million; the fund has partnered 19 developing countries and has implemented 26 projects. Significantly, two-thirds of the IBSA funding has been allocated to assist LDC partners, 37% of the IBSA funding has been allocated for partners in Africa; 25% in Latin America and 21% in Asia and Pacific. 15% of the IBSA Fund has so far been allocated for projects in Palestine.
The value of the Fund is that it demonstrates a common desire to achieve 2030 Agenda and the spirit of partnership that is now embedded in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 17. The BAPA +40 conference presents an opportunity for reflection and review of SSC since then and consideration of its roles and functions in the evolving global development landscape of the 21st century.
In his remarks at a special event to celebrate the 15th anniversary, ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative, at the UN said “The group has been committed since its inception to promote development partnerships with fellow developing countries in a spirit of equality and solidarity and had launched the IBSA Fund in association with UN, at that time with the Special Unit of South-South Cooperation at the UNDP.”
“Since then, IBSA as a group has been committed to promote development partnerships with fellow developing countries in the spirit of equality and solidarity. 85% of the funding has been allocated to projects in 4 major areas: agriculture, employment, health and water. These are all essential aspects towards achieving poverty and hunger alleviation, which remains the focus of the Fund,” Akbaruddin added.
While the fund started at a time when the world was focusing on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), today the projects are aligned to meet the priorities of our partners in achieving various SDGs.
The success of the fund derives from the emphasis on the basic principles that underlie south-south cooperation. These flow from the projects proposals originating from partner countries themselves based on their own needs and priorities; and the non-prescriptive nature of the funding that does not come with any strings attached. The projects are not driven by any commercial interests and are implemented by a competent UN agency or relevant national authorities or any entity of choice of the partner country in the field.
According to Akbaruddin “The unique nature of the governance of the Fund where three developing countries and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation collectively take decisions and review implementation is a unique model of peer review, transparency and accountability executing projects based on due diligence.”
The projects identified are worked upon by the UN Resident Coordinator with certain flexibility by identifying appropriate agencies, which is now being understood as being vital for an effective implementation.