UNITED NATIONS: India has pledged to contribute USD 13.5 million for various operational activities of development across the UN agencies for the year 2020.
Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Anjani Kumar announced India’s pledges at the UN General Assembly Pledging Conference for Development Activities.
Kumar said India’s pledges of contributions for operational activities of development for the year 2020 is to the tune of USD 13.5 million, in line with the country’s long-standing tradition of supporting development activities across the UN system.
Outlining contributions to the various UN agencies, Kumar said on Wednesday that India will contribute USD 5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, USD 4.5 million to the UN Development Programme.
The World Food Programme will get USD 1.92 million, USD 900,000 to the UN Children’s Fund, USD 500,000 to the UN Population Fund, USD 200,000 dollars to the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Co-operation and USD 150,000 dollars to the UN Commission on Human Settlements Programme.
India will also be contributing USD 100,000 each to the UN Voluntary contribution for Financial and Technical Assistance for the implementation of Universal Periodic Review, UN Environment Programme and UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Kumar noted that India would be undertaking further commitments to other entities over the course of time.
“India has been a regular contributor to the UN since its inception. India believes that the UN should have the necessary resources to finance its activities, in an appropriate and balanced manner,” he said.
Kumar, however, pointed out that sustainable and predictable funding remains the key challenge in achieving the 2030 Development Agenda.
He added that the Official Development Assistance ?as a percentage of Gross National Income remains low; commitment to Least Developed Countries is far from being met by most of Development Assistance Committee members and financing for small island developing states and country programmable aid continues to decline.
Around USD 50 billion are channelised every year through the UN System, but around 65 per cent of these resources are earmarked and as a result, less than 35 per cent of the resources are utilised for development and technical cooperation, he said.
Highlighting India’s leadership towards development activities and initiatives at the UN, Kumar said India, in association with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, established the India-UN Development Partnership Fund in 2017 under which USD 150 million have been committed for development assistance over the next decade for need-based developmental projects.
“In the spirit of sustained and predictable funding for the SDGs and South-South Cooperation, the funds under the India-UN development Partnership are non-earmarked,” he said, adding that since its establishment, more than 35 member states from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and, Asia and the Pacific regions have partnered with the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
Kumar told the pledging conference that India is also engaging with the global South more than ever before and the country’s historic relations with Caribbean nations witnessed a new momentum with the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 14 leaders of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) group of countries on sidelines of the high-level General Assembly session in September.
Modi had announced a 14 million dollar grant for community development projects in the CARICOM and another 150 million dollar Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate-change related projects.
Taking forward India’s close partnership with the Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS), the India-PSIDS Leaders’ Meeting was also held on the sidelines of the General Assembly and Modi had announced allocation of 12 million dollars grant (one million dollars to each PSIDS) towards implementation of high impact developmental projects in an area of their choice.
In the last decade, India has extended Lines of Credit of about USD 26 billion to more than 60 developing countries.
About 16 countries pledged a total of USD 516 million at the 2019 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities, representing a considerable increase over 2018 which saw USD 425.69 million promised.
Highlighting total contributions to the United Nations development system, Zina Mounla, the Chief of the Operational Activities Policy Branch in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said they amounted USD 33.6 billion in 2017, an increase of 13 per cent over 2016. The upturn continued a longer-term trend that has seen contributions increase by 77 per cent over the past 10 years.
Core contributions increased for the second consecutive year, she said, totalling USD 6.9 billion in 2017, an increase of 3 per cent over 2016. At the same time, the share of core resources dropped to an all-time low of only 20.6 per cent of total funding due to the rise in non-core funding, which has doubled over the past decade. (AGENCIES)