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Statement by Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative

 First Anniversary

India-UN Development Partnership Fund

8 June 2018

 

Secretary General,

Excellencies,

 

  • A very warm welcome to all of you to this special event as we mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

 

  • We are greatly encouraged by the presence of the Secretary-General among us today.

 

  • As a large developing economy with one-sixth of the world’s population, we in India are acutely aware of the entire range of challenges that developing countries continue to face.

 

  • We have, therefore, long worked for strengthening the development activities of our multilateral engagements, especially here at the United Nations.

 

  • It is also in this spirit last year, this day this Fund was launched by Government of India in association with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.

 

  • We believe that this is a unique model of south-south cooperation in association with the United Nations, in that the entire contribution is absolutely non-conditional and elicits projects from partner countries completely based on their priorities. 

 

  • The implementation of the projects is primarily through UN agencies, many of whom are represented here today.

 

  • The first project that was launched last year on this World Oceans Day aimed at improving climate resilience in a set of small Pacific Island states.

 

  • From the first project of US$ 1 million, we are happy to convey that the annual contribution and portfolio of projects has multiplied several times within the first year of its operation.

 

  • As has been shown in the short video clip, the Government of India has now committed an amount of US$ 100 million over ten years and an additional amount of US$ 50 million over five years under this Fund.

 

  • We are happy that within the first twelve months of its establishment, this Fund is now working with 25 partner countries.

 

  • The more than 20 projects are all initiated by these partner countries according to their specific requirements and national priorities.

 

  • All these projects aim at the implementation of SDGs. Last September, we were able to allocate resources under this Fund to facilitate recovery efforts following natural disasters affecting small island states.

 

  • The Fund is flexible to work in various formats, for instance to assist peacebuilding or climate action projects, such as the Africa Adaptation Initiative.

 

  • We are also open to leveraging of this Fund by UN agencies and national authorities to attract additional funding.

 

  • We hope that in the coming months and years, we will be able to further expand the portfolio of projects and partners through this Fund.

 

  • Many of you may be aware that India is also engaged in another unique model of South-South cooperation here at the UN through the India-Brazil-South Africa Fund, popularly known as IBSA Fund.  The UNOSSC is also working with us on that Fund.

 

  • These Funds are in addition to the other extensive development partnership initiatives being pursued by the Indian government with fellow developing countries in Africa, Pacific Island States, and Caribbean through other multilateral formats. 

 

  • The model of the Fund is a perfect fit for the reform of the UN Development System that the SG ably assisted by DSG Amina Mohammed have put in place. It allows for attraction of Funds at the country level by various UN Agencies.

 

  • So today we have an ask of the Secretary General. That is not a difficult one but an important one. It is what can be termed as ensuring a 1-2-3 process. It is not an ask for India or only an ask of our partners the Developing countries. It is an ask of the UN Development system . The ask is to enhance the speed of implementation of projects that are entrusted to the UN agencies. We have put in funds up front. On our part we have cut down the mechanisms for assessing a project from our partner countries and accepting it in consultation with the South-South Fund to less than a month. So that is part 1. Part 2 is that we hope that each of the projects in this Fund are implemented quickly and completed within a 2 year period. We hope that none goes beyond the 3rd year. Only then can we call it the 1-2-3 process with true meaning and effectiveness. We look forward to the reformed system being put in place from 1 January 2018 providing greater efficiency and effectiveness to the UN’s facilitation of sustainable development efforts across the world and ensuring a 1-2-3 process for triangular cooperation with the Global South.

 

  • We are also embarking on the preparations for the upcoming major UN Conference – BAPA+40 on South-South Cooperation that will be hosted by Argentina next year.

 

  • We look forward to working with all our partners to make that a constructive engagement that leads to concrete outcomes in the field of South-South Cooperation. I acknowledge the presence of the Permanent Representative of Uganda who is steering us in that process and assure him that as a strong votary of South-South Cooperation we stand ready to support in as he leads the way.

 

  • Once again, may I thank all of you for joining us here today and look forward to hearing from your perspectives and suggestions to make this nascent effort better.