An India-United Nations fund aimed at supporting sustainable development for low-income nations marked its first anniversary on Friday, with 22 projects having already been approved in 25 partner countries.
“The Fund’s focus on supporting people in least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing States reflects our ambition to reach those that are left furthest behind and to reach them first,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks to an event marking the first anniversary of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
Managed by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, the Fund seeks to assist projects for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partner countries.
South-South cooperation in the UN context refers to the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries. India has committed $100 million to the Fund over the next decade.
Mr. Guterres said that even before the SGDs were crystallized, “India’s own development efforts and vision reflected many of the same priorities and aspirations.”
“India is, for all of us, a very important inspiration,” he said.
The projects approved by the Fund so far include a climate early-warning system being implemented in seven Pacific island countries, and governance projects in eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, and Uruguay.
But the UN chief stressed, however, that South-South cooperation should not be seen as an instrument to replace North-South cooperation, between developed and developing nations.
“South-South cooperation must be a stimulus for an intensified North-South cooperation,” he said.