On the sidelines of the General Assembly leaders reflect on keeping the sustainable development focus on Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States
India, which has made remarkable progress in its own domestic development, is simultaneously keeping a focus on development throughout the Global South. India’s belief in ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ was emphasized, and through the India-United Nations Development Partnerships Fund, among several other efforts, the country is promoting sustainable development among those most in need.
The vital importance of South-South cooperation towards achieving the 2030 Global Agenda, and India’s leadership in those efforts, were the focus of a High-level event held on the margins of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, 23 September. Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India and the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, and in line with the country’s recent hosting of the G20, the event brought together the Samoa Prime Minister, and several Ministers of External Affairs, notably from Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries. It spotlighted the importance of continued cooperation with the Global South, also highlighting success stories from its collaborative work through the Fund.
“India, home to one-sixth of humanity, plays an unparalleled role in our global mission for a better, more sustainable world,” said H.E. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th UN General Assembly. “India’s legacy of contributions serves as a guiding light, encompassing endeavours such as championing democracy, promoting women-led development, and being among the pioneers in adopting the UN’s global goals.”
Several India-UN Fund projects were discussed. H.E. Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister of Samoa, presented on the Samoa Knowledge Initiative. H.E. Hon. Frederick Audley Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahamas provided an overview of a climate resilient community center and shelter the Fund is building. H.E. Hon. Dr. Vince Henderson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy of Dominica, explained how the Fund is rebuilding a school as well as developing livelihoods in an indigenous territory. H.E. Hon. Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Guyana, said that reproductive health promotion is being facilitated by the Fund. H.E. Hon. Alva Romanus Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs of St. Lucia, noted that a technical and vocational training center is being constructed with the support of the Fund. H.E. Aissata Tall Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, discussed a de-mining project that was recently approved.
“Our experiences and our achievements we place before you in a spirit of sharing,” said H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister. “We have endeavoured to walk the talk,” H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar said. “Your presence means a lot to us. It also expressed the sentiments that you feel for India, and underlines the import of South-South cooperation.”
“South-South cooperation is not only a distinguishing feature of the India-UN Partnership Fund, it is a clear demonstration of what countries, and the UN can achieve when working together alongside developing countries across several SDGs,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. Working side-by-side, India and the United Nations are demonstrating that sustainable and inclusive development is possible, but only through political will, global solidarity and partnerships, and by ‘co-investing’ in one another.
In his remarks, Steiner highlighted, among other initiatives of India with UNDP, the International Solar Alliance, which through an India-UN Fund project is installing solar water pumps in 10 Least Developed Countries.
“As far as India is concerned, our engagement with the Global South is not just a matter of policy, it is ingrained in the very fabric of our culture and philosophy,” said H.E. Mrs. Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative to the UN.
About the Fund
The $150 million India-UN Development Partnership Fund was established in 2017, as an expression of South-South solidarity. It has already supported 75 projects in 59 countries, focusing on Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. It is the first ever single country South-South initiative at the UN.
Projects supported by the Fund, contributing to the 17 SDGs are many, varied, and span the Global South including: the modernization of the food industry for value added agricultural production (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines); closing gaps in access to finance (Malawi); strengthened women’s participation in economic , social, political life (Micronesia); establishing more resilient economies by ensuring that countries are better prepared for climatic and emergency shocks (several Caribbean and Pacific Island States); the restoration of pivotal public infrastructure (Mozambique); establishing climate adaptation and mitigation safeguards by incorporating environmental sustainability into public and private investment processes (Fiji); including those incorporating clean energy and resilient development (Gabon).
Read more about the India-UN Development Partnership Fund: https://indiaunfund.unsouthsouth.org