India-UN Development Partnership Fund Celebrates Six Years of Collaborative Partnership

Nov 30, 2023 | News

“The enduring partnership between India and the UN has spurred just and inclusive development – from the world’s densest cities to its remotest villages – and today serves as a guiding light within the Global South, in the true spirit of South-South cooperation,” said H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly at the sixth anniversary celebration of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. The commemorative event was organized in the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

“This occasion compels us to contemplate the tremendous obstacles we face in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the vital role that South-South cooperation can play in overcoming these challenges,” said Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. “The need for urgent and decisive action has never been more pressing.”

Managed by UNOSSC and currently implemented by 12 UN entities at country-level, the $150 million Fund supports innovative, Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world.

Since it was launched in 2017, the Fund has supported 76 projects in 54 countries. Its project portfolio spans climate resilience, livelihood development, health and sanitation, education and skills, agriculture and food security, infrastructure and other SDG-targets prioritized by partnering countries. The Fund operates across the Global South and supports all geographic regions, while keeping a strong emphasis on Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

“India stands as a pillar of leadership and advocacy for the Global South,” said H.E. Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. “In a world of shifting global dynamics, our nation has risen as not just a voice, but as a representative of the hopes and challenges of developing countries.” In its six years, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund has demonstrated “the power of flexibility and tailored approaches in meeting the unique development needs of diverse nations,” said the Ambassador, noting that the Fund is a testament to India’s commitment to multi-dimensional development, acknowledging that progress in one area is often interlinked with advancements in others.

“India has long been a champion of South-South cooperation and the global pursuit of the SDGs bringing to life its philosophy of vasudhaiva kutumbakam – the world as one interconnected family,” said Ms. Amina J. Mohammed. “South-South cooperation not only distinguishes the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, but it also demonstrates the remarkable achievements that countries and the UN can accomplish when working together with developing nations across multiple SDGs.”

“I welcome the theme of empowering vulnerable communities – and congratulate both India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, for the six productive years of collaborative partnership,” said H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis. “I am equally pleased that the Caribbean Community, CARICOM – my own region – is a major constituency of the Fund’s attention, where it supports innovative, Southern-owned and led, demand-driven sustainable development projects.”

“For UNOSSC, working with the Government of India to amplify the voice of the South in the multilateral system, and respond to the development priorities of developing countries, has been an enriching experience,” said Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. “Working together, we have gained valuable insights on the mainstreaming of South-South cooperation approaches; We have also built knowledge through the South-to-South sharing of experiences and best practices; and are feeding this knowledge into UNOSSC’s platforms and support to Member States and the UN System.”

During the event, delegates of Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Nicaragua, Senegal, Togo, Tonga, and Tuvalu commended the Government of India for the establishment of the Fund, and highlighted the impact the Fund is having in their countries.

It we emphasized that as the world grapples with challenges to meet the SDGs, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund serves as a model for South-South cooperation, which encourages mutual learning and collaboration among developing nations.

Participants also highlighted that the Fund’s initiatives have, among others, enhanced healthcare infrastructure and services in partner countries leading to better access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations. Renewable energy projects have contributed to reducing carbon emissions and fostering of sustainable energy solutions; education programs with a particular focus on girls and marginalized communities have improved literacy rates and access to quality education. Projects have promoted gender equality, women’s empowerment, and entrepreneurship. The Fund has also responded to humanitarian crises by providing timely assistance and relief efforts, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the event the India-UN Development Partnership Fund annual report was launched.

For more information please contact Ms. Ines Tofalo, United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (ines.tofalo@undp.org).