NEW YORK — The latest mission to stimulate growth, communications and reduce poverty in developing countries has teamed up with the Republic of India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). The partnership is known as the India-United Nations Development Partnership Fund (India-UNDP Fund), and was formed on June 8th of 2017 by way of the U.N. Oceans Conference in New York and launched by H.E. Mr. M. J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs of India.
Under the watchful eye of the UNOSSC, the partnership will provide southern-owned and demand-oriented development projects support to further their work. It concentrates on least-developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDs), and works alongside federal governments to address development in LDCs.
The UNOSSC itself is a byproduct of the U.N. General Assembly of 1974, and Resolution 3251 for the “establishment of a special unit within the U.N. Development Programme to promote technical co-operation among developing countries,” and so promotes South-South and triangular cooperation internationally and inside the U.N. It receives policy directives straight from the General Assembly and its own committee, and works to leverage its global outreach in terms of policy and institutional capacity to assist U.N. agencies and nations in managing, designing and implementing multilateral development solutions and skills.
They strive to meet today’s critical development goals through program plans such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and enable emerging countries to share resources and information for broader success together. This includes frequently reporting on numerous intergovernmental bodies and managing the funds that back it; the U.N. Fund for South-South Cooperation and the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.
South-South cooperation incorporates political, economic, social, environmental, cultural, and technical collaboration among countries, as overseen by the UNOSCC. Modern exchange of knowledge and resources through the initiative has already shown improvement within South-South trade, foreign direct investment, regional integration, technology transfers, and onwards. Likewise, triangular cooperation allows traditional donor countries plus multilateral organizations the means to act out South-South initiatives with proper training, funding, management and technology – to suitably tackle development in LDCs.
It further fosters self-reliance, in having countries address issues through creative and value-specific means and pooling of efforts. And they have proven effective in job creation, infrastructure building and trade promotion in rural and international relationships.
The Government of India initially provided one million dollars to startup the India-UNDP Fund and create projects in seven specific SIDs in the South Pacific, including the Cook Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Nauru, the Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga. They have already prioritized projects within poverty, hunger, health, education, equality and access to clean water and energy in order to achieve development in LDCs.
On July 13th of 2017, the Indian Government supplemented their initial contribution with another one million dollars, as H.E Mr. Syed Akbaruddin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the U.N. in New York puts it, “India’s approach to cooperation can be summarized as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or the whole world is one family.”
The UNOSSC is able to provide assistance to more than 20 countries that provide solutions, and more than 80 that host them, from Algeria and Cambodia to Turkey and Pakistan, and works with triangular partners like the African Development Bank, European Union, Islamic Development Bank and Republic of Korea. Past ventures include 27 projects sponsored by Brazil (valued at around $100 million) for school meal nutrition, family farming, fisheries and aquaculture, agricultural research, civil society participation, institutional procurement and resilience building in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
A particular nourishment project focused on securing quality food for public students, promoting the consumption of healthy foods and implementing better markets so family farmers can earn higher incomes and improve local development as well as expanding to over 13 countries in Latin America. Another 1,000 experts supported by China were sent to over 25 countries for exchange of knowledge on crop production, irrigation, livestock, agroforestry and more, and later established a Food and Agriculture Organization-China Trust Fund.
With the new India-UNDP Fund and India and United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation partnership, there is sure to be further progress to look out for when considering poverty-reduction, exchange of information’s, and most importantly, development in LDCs, to push them into prosperous futures.
– Zar-Tashiya Khan