United Nations: India has given over USD four million to the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), bringing to nearly USD 30 million its total contribution to the entity launched in 2005 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then US President George Bush for promotion of democratic values.
India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh
Puri handed over a cheque for USD 4.17 million yesterday to UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon here.
Ban thanked India for its consistent support to the
UNDEF, saying he was pleased to receive the contribution from
the "greatest democracy".
The fund, which was initiated as a result of a
partnership between India and the US, was launched jointly by
Singh, Bush and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New
York in September 2005.
India is the second largest contributor to the UNDEF,
having contributed USD 29.71 million to it so far.
At the inception of the fund, India had contributed USD
10 million followed by contributions of USD five million each
in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
India considers the fund to be an effective instrument
for the promotion of democratic values and processes and has
played a prominent role in the UNDEF as a member of the
Advisory Board, its apex governing body.
UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of
civil society, promote human rights and encourage
participation of all groups in democratic processes.
Since its inception, UNDEF has funded about 400 projects
in over 100 countries, bringing total disbursement to about
USD 110 million. The large majority of funds go to local civil society
groups -- both in the transition and consolidation phases of
UNDEF`s two-year projects projects exist in developing
countries and nations in transition, focussing on areas of
community development, rule of law and human rights, tools for
democratisation, women, youth and media.
The fund is supported by voluntary contributions from
In 2010, it surpassed USD 110 million in contributions
and now counts 39 countries as donors, including many middle
and low-income States in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The seven largest contributors to UNDEF are the US,
India, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
UNDEF grants range from USD 50,000 to USD 500,000.
The current Advisory Board of UNDEF comprises 19 nations,
including its seven largest contributors and six other
countries reflecting geographical diversity and commitment to
democratic principles. These are Jamaica, Lithuania, Tanzania,
Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Uruguay.