UN leaders hail India as champion of South-South cooperation, highlight 'exemplary leadership' in addressing global challenges | World News - Hindustan Times
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UN leaders hail India as champion of South-South cooperation, highlight 'exemplary leadership' in addressing global challenges

PTI |
Nov 30, 2023 12:03 PM IST

UN leaders hail India as champion of South-South cooperation, highlight 'exemplary leadership' in addressing global challenges

United Nations, Nov 30 (PTI) Top UN leaders and envoys have lauded India’s "exemplary leadership" in addressing global challenges and for being a champion of South-South cooperation, as they highlighted the country’s G20 Presidency and termed the “enduring" partnership between India and the United Nations as a “guidelight” within the Global South.

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India assumed the year-long G20 Presidency in December last year and is all set to hand over the baton to Brazil.

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The Permanent Mission of India to the UN and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organised a special event at the world body’s headquarters here Wednesday to commemorate six years of collaborative partnership of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

“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,” UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in her remarks at the event.

Mohammed underscored that the India UN Development Partnership Fund stands as a “testament" to the “extraordinary accomplishments” that nations can achieve when they unite, surpassing borders and differences to create a sustainable, equitable and just world.

Mohammed said that the sixth anniversary of the Partnership Fund “compels us to contemplate the tremendous obstacles we face in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the vital role that South-South cooperation can play in overcoming these challenges.”

Since its launch in 2017, the Fund has supported 76 projects in 54 countries. President of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly Dennis Francis described this as “no small feat”, especially in the current age of shrunken fiscal spaces compounded by the impacts of the pandemic and other global shocks in recent years.

Francis told the event, attended by UN envoys, officials, policy experts, think tanks and academicians, that the fact that beneficiaries of the Partnership Fund cut across the membership of the Global South – of which India remains integrally a dynamic part – and supports all geographic regions while maintaining a strong emphasis on Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries speaks volumes about its vision of development and its ability to channel funds where they are needed most.

“We are all accustomed to the fact that keeping an eye on the horizon is nothing new for India. Its exemplary leadership in addressing global challenges and being a strong voice in multilateral affairs is well-known – and has been for many on full display, particularly in recent years including during the pandemic,” Francis said.

He added that India’s G20 Presidency marked a “commendable historic milestone” as the first ever to usher in the African Union as a permanent member into this grouping – thus sending a strong signal to the Global South of India’s commitment to the need for solidarity and fairness in global economic governance.

Francis added that India, home to one-sixth of humanity, also plays an unparalleled role in the global mission – including at the UN – to create a more just and equitable world.

"Its long legacy includes, among others, the championing of democracy, promotion of women-led development and its pioneering role leading to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs,” he said.

Francis underscored that 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 guidelight within the Global South, in the true spirit of South-South Cooperation.”

Managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and implemented by 12 UN entities at the country level, the USD 150 million Fund supports innovative, Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world.

The Fund operates across the Global South and supports all geographic regions, with a strong emphasis on Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said that India has walked the talk and its commitment to the ethos of leaving no one behind is not just rhetoric, but a demonstrated reality.

She noted that over the past decade, India’s development partnerships have reached 78 nations and manifested in 600 projects, speaking volumes of the country’s goodwill and capabilities.

India’s “timely humanitarian assistance”, spanning across nations from Afghanistan to Ukraine, Turkiye to Nepal, and its unwavering support to Gaza and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “highlight our resolve in fostering global solidarity,” Kamboj said.

She added that the Fund, covering a vast spectrum of areas including health, education and environmental sustainability is a “testament to our commitment to multi-dimensional development, acknowledging that progress in one area is often interlinked with advancements in others.”

“India stands as a pillar of leadership and advocacy for the Global South. 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.

On the occasion, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund Annual Report was launched. Envoys and representatives from Dominica, El Salvador, Morocco, Cameroon, Nicaragua, Senegal, Fiji, Tuvalu, Togo, and Tonga shared their national experiences and development projects undertaken through the Fund.

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