India's role in advancing South-South cooperation through its India-UN Development Partnership Fund has been held up by UN leaders as a model for cooperation among developing countries.
In a video message on the second anniversary celebrations of the Fund on Thursday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that through this initiative India "is championing greater prosperity and opportunity for all".
He thanked India for its "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".
India has committed $100 million for the Fund over the next decade and $50 million for its Commonwealth Window over five years. It has already disbursed $22 million during the past two years to finance 36 projects in 37 partnering countries.
The projects range from a maternal and reproductive health programme in Mauritania and youth-related projects in the Caribbean to helping rebuild Dominica and Barbuda that were hit by hurricanes and assisting several countries in combating climate change.
"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," said Jorge Chediek, the head of the UN Office of South-South Cooperation, who participated in the celebration. The Fund is administered through this office.
UN Economic and Social Council President Inga Rhonda King said the Fund was "a shining example" cooperation for achieving the UN's 2030 development agenda.
She said it was a model of southern-owned and -led sustainable development and welcomed its focus on the least developed countries.
India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said: "India's development cooperation is rooted in our social ethos, defined variously, but encompassed by the philosophy of Sarvodaya, meaning edevelopment and progress of all'. Our working with fellow developing countries translates this philosophy into reality."
UN Development Programme Administrator Adam Steiner said that having lifted 271 million people out of extreme poverty, India can share its experiences in addition to its finances in helping other developing countries fight poverty.
"There is particular meaning to India having embraced this form of partnership through the UN also as a platform because in its own development it has so many lessons, so many technologies so much software," he said.
Under Secretary-General Grete Faremo, who heads the UN Office of Project Services, said, "India's leadership has given the international community a dedicated avenue to helping people across the developing world, not least in those countries who suffer most acutely from the impacts of climate change, poverty and a lack of resilient infrastructure."