India-UN Development Partnership Fund

IAS Prelims 2023

Recently there was a first anniversary of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is a dedicated facility within the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation established in 2017. It is supported and led by the Government of the Republic of India, managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and implemented in collaboration with the United Nations system.

An India-United Nations fund aimed at supporting sustainable development for low-income nations marked its first anniversary, 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.

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.

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.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund supports Southern-owned and led, demand-driven, and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world, with a focus on least developed countries and small island developing states. United Nations agencies implement the Funds projects in close collaboration with partnering governments.

The Fund shows a further deepening of South-South cooperation, an increasingly valuable dimension of our work for development. The Fund focus on supporting people in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) reflects our ambition to help those left furthest behind and to reach them first.

The Government of India has committed $100 million over the next decade to the Fund, to support 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.

For example, a Climate Early Warning System is being implemented in 7 Pacific Island Countries to increase resilience to natural disasters; a governance project in Swaziland will engage citizens in the collection of data on poverty in order to inform sound public policies; a climate-response project in Chad will help restore degraded lands and enhance agricultural production systems; and a governance project in Uruguay will enhance the government’s public service delivery through digital processing and monitoring tools.

In April 2018, the Government of India established a separate Commonwealth Window under the India-UN Development Partnership Fund aimed at partnership with developing countries in the Commonwealth. Under this window, an additional sum of $50 million over the next five years has been committed for partnerships with developing country members of the Commonwealth. Projects supporting biomedical waste management in Grenada, clean energy in Tuvalu and census data collection in Vanuatu have been approved under this window.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund exemplifies South-South cooperation at work.

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) was established to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the United Nations system.

UNOSSC, hosted by UNDP since 1974, was established by the UN General Assembly with a mandate to advocate for and coordinate South-South and triangular cooperation on a global and UN system-wide basis. UNOSSC receives policy directives and guidance from the General Assembly and through its subsidiary body, the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation.

UNOSSC submits its strategic planning frameworks to the UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Executive Board for approval and funding. The Director reports to the UNDP Administrator and has also been appointed Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation.

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation:

– mainstreams South-South cooperation across the UN system and throughout the international development community by leveraging its global reach as well as its policy and institutional capacities to assist UN agencies and developing countries in strengthening their South-South cooperation capacities. It works to support countries’ efforts to manage, design and implement South-South cooperation policies and initiatives through the identification, sharing and transfer of successful Southern-generated development solutions. It also advocates for support to South-South initiatives, including through its organization of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation;

– engages a wide range of partners, including Member States, UN entities, multilateral bodies and private-sector and civil society organizations in order to provide the most efficient, effective and comprehensive support for South-South cooperation;
innovates by continually seeking, showcasing and transferring forward-thinking Southern development solutions to development partners to meet the critical development challenges of today;

– enables countries of the South – emerging, middle income and least developed – to work together to use their wealth of resources, tangible and intangible, in support of national, regional and global development efforts;

– serves as the secretariat to the High-level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation, a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, which provides policy directives and guidance and reviews worldwide progress in South-South cooperation. In this context, it monitors trends in South South cooperation among UN agencies as well as globally, preparing reports for various intergovernmental bodies, including the report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-South cooperation; and

– manages the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation, the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation, the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation, and the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.