“The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is a welcome contribution that is championing greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the occasion of anniversary celebrations of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund at United Nations Headquarters. Furthermore, he commended India for the country’s “strong commitment to international cooperation, shared prosperity and the vision of One UN as the world strives to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”
The Secretary-General was one of many senior officials who expressed their support to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund as it celebrated its second successful year of funding projects in the spirit of South-South Cooperation.
The Fund was established in June 2017 to work with developing countries by providing assistance to projects that aim to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as per their request. The United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is the designated fund manager.
“Our goal is to put the precept of South-South Cooperation into practice innovatively”, said the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin. “We are grateful to the many partners who have joined us to share experiences in our common efforts at SDG implementation cooperatively. We look forward to hearing from them so that we can work better together.”
The Government of India has committed $100 million over the next decade to the Fund, to support projects that are in alignment with the 2030 Agenda. It adheres to the principles of South-South cooperation, and places a priority on national ownership and leadership, equality, sustainability, development of local capacity, and mutual benefit. A Commonwealth Window has also been established within this Fund, representing an $50 million over a period of 5 years, of the total $150 million over a decade.
“Over the past two years, we have seen the remarkable progress of the Fund in implementing the transformative commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I have been delighted to see the success of the Fund and Commonwealth Window in enabling 36 development projects in 37 countries across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals” said UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General Mr. Jorge Chediek.
Project sizes range from less than $500,000 to $1 million under the India Fund and $2 million under the Commonwealth Window. The projects cover a range of SDGs/ thematic areas including climate resilience, environmental sustainability, gender equality, renewable energy, improving women’s and maternal health, water and sanitation, education, employment and livelihoods, disaster recovery and risk management, agricultural development and infrastructure. The Fund leverages the strengths of the UN system to implement projects at country level, in close partnership with national governments. The Fund is:
India is partnering with UNOSSC, as the Fund Manager and Secretariat of the fund, because UNOSSC’s global and UN-wide mandates allow for the office to respond to requests and implement projects through the various UN system agencies, funds, and programs. Strongly branding this Fund and India’s engagement as South-South cooperation, guided by South-South principles (horizontality, national ownership and leadership, non-conditionality, etc.) is also of high importance to India. Currently, PAHO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNOPS, ILO, UNIDO and WHO are implementing projects supported by the Fund.
“Through its own development, India has so many lessons, so many technologies, so much to share. From the broader perspective of multilateralism, from the objective of strengthening South-South Cooperation, from the unique development attributes and assets that India has accumulated in its own remarkable path of development, to the way you have committed to work through the Fund,” said the UNDP Administrator Mr. Achim Steiner.
The sentiment was echoed by Ms. Grete Faremo, Executive Director of UNOPS: “India’s experience with their own development can help inform development goals & aspirations of other southern countries. UNOPS stands ready to be a strategic partner.”
This second anniversary commemoration event highlighted the contributions of the Fund to partnering countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and promote further South-South partnerships in the years to come.