India and UNOSSC Launch a New South-South Trust Fund to Promote Sustainable Development

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8 June 2017

The Republic of India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) launched the India-UN Development Partnership Fund today. The 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.

“Capacities of nations may vary, but their rights and obligations do not,” said H.E. Mr. Shri M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs of India. “We are confident that this partnership will meet the challenge of our times – shared prosperity.”

“India’s approach to cooperation can be summarized as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or the whole word is one family,” said H.E. Mr. Syed Akbaruddin, Ambassador Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York. “With this approach we engage in South-South cooperation.”

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.

Over 70 representatives of Member States, United Nations organizations, non-governmental partners, and the media were present the launch.

“I congratulate the government of India on its strengthened partnership with the United Nations system through the India-UN Development 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,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the occasion of the launch.

“India is frequently praised for its contributions of manpower and resources towards shaping a better world,” said Mr. Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC. “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.”

The Fund’s launch took place on World Oceans Day, and 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, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Nauru, the Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga. The project will increase resilience to natural disasters in these seven Pacific island countries, and as such contributes toward Sustainable Development Goal 12, Climate Action.

“Nauru like other SIDS continues to grapple with the severe impacts of climate change,” said H.E. Ms. Charmaine Scotty, Minister for Education, for Home Affairs and Land Management, of the Government of the Republic of Nauru. “Any project in the region needs to be designed with disaster risk reduction and adaptation as its primary objectives,” she said, speaking on behalf of the seven Pacific Island Countries.

“This event marks an occasion where South-South cooperation has risen to meet our call,” Minister Scotty emphasized, welcoming the “demand-driven responsiveness of the Fund to the needs SIDS.”

“Growth which is not shared will no longer be sustained,” said Minister Akbar, suggesting that we should change the way that we look upon island nations. “If the twenty-first century is going to be a egalitarian age,” he said, “nations are no longer big or small, they are fundamentally equal.”

“Today we mark the start of another chapter in our saga of success,” Minister Akbar concluded.

For more information, or to schedule media interviews, please contact: Ms. Ines Tofalo, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation ( + 1 917 497 5177); and Mr. Mahesh Kumar, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations ( +1 917 446 9782).