India provided leadership when some countries pushed aggression under garb of Covid
The remarks by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti came while addressing the 3rd anniversary of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund at India's Permanent Mission to the UN.by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
India, on a thinly-veiled reference to China & Pakistan, on Monday said that when some countries are taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing their support to terrorism or to adopt aggressive policies, Delhi has focussed on immediately extending medical assistance and supporting countries vulnerable to the pandemic.
The remarks by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti came while addressing the 3rd anniversary of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund at India's Permanent Mission to the UN.
The Fund, established in 2017, has so far supported 59 projects in 48 countries, through $ 47.8 million in contributions from a $ 150 million multi-year pledge by the Indian Government.
"At a time when some countries are busy taking undue advantage of COVID-19 to spread divisive disinformation or to enhance even more their support to terrorism or to adopt aggressive policies, India’s answer has been to immediately come to the support of countries vulnerable to the pandemic, rush urgently needed medical supplies, strengthen national health capacities and mitigate the diverse socio-economic impact of this crisis,” Tirumurti said.
He reminded that India has through history prioritised cooperation over conflict, co-existence over the competition, sharing over receiving, plurality over hegemony and inclusivity and democracy over exclusion and control. “This has underpinned our approach to development cooperation as well."
Tirumurti said sustainability has been the focus of India’s developmental efforts. “India shuns any effort to impose conditionalities or to create indebtedness or to constrain developmental space for developing countries.” This can also be viewed as a message to China’s BRI that has created debt trap.
In this quest, the Fund has successfully focussed on LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS, Africa and other developing countries and regions and covers a diverse set of thematic areas, he said.
The senior diplomat said that in the context of India, the term South-North cooperation is more appropriate since, through history, the country has always shared with others its knowledge in science, mathematics, astronomy, the arts and has later “gone on to share the unique tools of our freedom struggle to inspire countries to free themselves of colonialism and, closer to our times, shared the tools for human resource development, development partnership and nation building. Development partnership is not new to India.”
Tirumurti cited renowned Indian philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda to say that each nation must give in order to live.
The Fund was established in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. Embodying the spirit of South-South cooperation, the Fund is guided by the priorities of the partner countries to foster sustainable development and is completely demand driven.
The Fund has made significant contributions in the area of poverty reduction and livelihood development. In Chad, a project trained 200 local farmers in innovative farming techniques while also seeding 28,000 plants across 70 hectares to reverse deforestation.
Contributing to climate resilience, a project across seven Pacific Island Countries established a climate early warning system, including installation of weather monitoring equipment and enhanced government technical capacities to analyse and act on data.
In Liberia, a project built a 6-room educational resource centre, contributing to improving the reading proficiency of 300 students.
In cases involving natural disasters and emergencies, the Fund has demonstrated speed and responsiveness.
In the last few months the Fund has provided financial support to nine developing countries to procure medical supplies and protective equipment as well as to implement socio-economic response measures: Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu
India’s efforts received wide spread appreciation with PR of Nepal in UN saying, “Nepal is one of beneficiaries of India’s generous assistance. Appreciate India’s efforts on South South cooperation.”
The PR of Sri Lanka applauded and congratulated India. “India’s leadership and dedication provides much needed support for national development priorities of developing countries. The initiative of India reflects the values of Gandhi.”
PR of Antigua and Barbuda said, “The Fund has been extremely cooperative with us. PM has asked to offer congratulations to PM and Govt and people of India for the partnership.”
The PR of Australia also congratulated India.