India-UN Development Partnership Fund has held the first Annual Board Meeting in New York to take stock of progress in the projects undertaken within the last one year.
The meeting took place in the Doha Conference Room of the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation in New York. The Board members shared the key accomplishments and challenges faced during the implementation of the Fund projects.
The Board members present at the meeting included Manish Chauhan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India; Inga Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and Grenadines to the United Nations and Board Member for India-UN Development Partnership Fund - Commonwealth Window; Tanmaya Lal, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations; and Jorge Chediek, the Director of UNOSSC and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation.
The Government of India established the India-UN Development Partnership Fund in June 2017 to work with developing countries in a spirit of South-South cooperation, by providing assistance to projects towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation(UNOSSC) is the designated fund manager. A sum of US$100 million over the next decade has been committed by the Government of India for this fund to support demands from developing countries. An additional sum of US$50 million over the next five years has been committed by the Government of India for partnerships with developing country members of the Commonwealth.
"Triangular cooperation has proven to be a constructive exercise for us as we build on expertise of UN Agencies on the ground," Lal, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, said.
King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and Grenadines to the United Nations, stated, "It was an honour to sit with India in the first cycle of the India-UN Fund initiative. This initiative and South-South cooperation is a way forward to renew commitment to multilateralism."
Over the last year, as many as 27 projects have been approved in 29 partner countries and USD16 million has been contributed.
Expressing optimism in South-South cooperation, Chauhan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, said, "The India UN Development Partnership Fund is a unique exercise. We did not visualize that the Fund would come this far so soon. The Fund follows the true spirit of South-South Cooperation and is based on the principle of non-conditionality."
Chediek, Director of UNOSSC and Envoy of the Secretary-General for South-South Cooperation assured that the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary General were committed to make the Fund a success. "This is a strategic partnership for the UN," he said.
The Fund supports 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. The Fund Board has agreed to meet on a regular and formal basis, to discuss project impact and potential challenges as the Fund grows to incorporate varied projects in the Global South.