India expects United Nations respond positively to IBSA

India has expressed hope that UN development system will respond to the evolving requirements of South-South cooperation and initiatives like the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) fund to assist the developing countries.

PTI| Last Updated: May 20, 2014, 13:25 PM IST

United Nations:India has expressed hope that UN development system will respond to the evolving requirements of South-South cooperation and initiatives like the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) fund to assist the developing countries.

"With the fast paced changes on the South-South cooperation landscape, the United Nations needs to catch up with this new reality by responding to its paradigms and not seek to fit them into the traditional North-South aid construct," Indian Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji said here yesterday in an event.

The event titled `IBSA Fund in Partnership with the UN: Symbol of South-South Cooperation and Solidarity` was organised on the sidelines of the 18th Session of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation.

"We do hope that the UN Development System can respond to these evolving requirements and through partnerships such as the IBSA Fund, assist developing countries in replicating success stories," he said.

During his address, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated India, Brazil and South Africa as well as their 13 partner countries in the fund for advancing the "innovative, responsive" and Southern-led success.

Ban said the fund, spearheaded by three developing countries who are themselves dealing with their own development challenges, embodies a spirit of solidarity and demonstrates the resolve of emerging economies to contribute to global development.

"South-South Cooperation can provide novel and needed support through development assistance as well as increased South-South trade, investment, migration and capital flows, and knowledge transfer. These efforts also serve to complement important North-South cooperation," Ban said.

Mukerji said the South does not see it as a burden to help a fellow partner.

The IBSA Fund is exercised in solidarity which is initiated only at the explicit request of a developing partner, and not imposed from outside.

Mukerji said that on India`s national front, the fund is an initiative in keeping with the country`s longstanding commitment on South-South cooperation.

"We are doing this inspite of our own domestic development challenges, and the vast swathes of poor people living in our own countries, not because we are oblivious to their needs, but because while addressing them we feel that it is also our responsibility to share our development experience with our partners in the developing world," he added.

"That is precisely why this call for increased burden sharing by the South alone, needs to be contextualised and revisited.

"We believe that such exercises in South-South cooperation, can only complement or add value to our development experiences as voluntary initiatives, but simply cannot substitute or dilute the obligation and responsibility of the North by absolving them of Official Development Assistance or aid flows," he said.

The IBSA Fund was founded in 2003, when India, Brazil and South Africa announced in the UN General Assembly their decision to establish the trust fund to pool their resources to implement projects in developing countries aimed at eradication of poverty and hunger alleviation.

The fund became operational with a mere three million dollars initial corpus and today has accumulated and invested operating capital of more than 27 million dollars.

The themes that the fund has explored include promoting food security, addressing HIV/AIDS, extending access to safe drinking water, capacity building, building of hospitals for children with special needs, with the singular aim of contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

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