New York: India has pledged over USD 9 million towards various UN development activities in 2015, including significant contributions to the UN development programme and to the agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees.
India was among the 26 countries that have pledged about USD 560 million in support of UN development activities for the next year.
The amount represents an increase of about USD 72 million in comparison to pledges made in 2013.
"As a developing country, while India has its own plate full of developmental challenges to be addressed, even then, we have always attempted to contribute to increasing the availability of core resources for development activities of the United Nations system," First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Prakash Gupta said at the 2014 UN Pledging Conference yesterday.
He said India has recognised eradication of poverty as the greatest global challenge in the crafting the post-2015 development agenda and has urged the UN Development System that all its programmes and projects must focus on addressing this challenge as their underlying objective.
India's USD 9.28 million pledge of contributions include USD 4.5 million dollars to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), a million dollars to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), USD 900,000 to UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), USD 500,000 to Population Fund (UNFPA), USD 1.92 million for the World Food Programme for biennium 2015-2016 and USD 100,000 to UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In addition, India also has a standing five-year commitment of USD five million towards UN Women, of which, its fifth and final instalment of USD one million was handed over by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to the Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mllambo-Ngcuka earlier last month.
Opening the conference, Director of the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Navid Hanif noted that contributions for United Nations operational activities in 2012 had totalled USD 23.9 billion, with the share of core resources at 28 per cent.
The long-term absolute funding trend for United Nations operational activities for development had been favourable, with contributions having nearly doubled in real terms over the past 15 years.