NEW YORK, NY (TIP): The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (UN) in New York along with the Permanent Missions of Brazil and South Africa, and UN Office for South South Cooperation celebrated 10 years of the establishment of the India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) fund on September 12. The day also marked as International Day for South South cooperation by the UN. The Event titled “IBSA Fund: A Flagship Initiative in South South Cooperation” was attended by permanent representatives of India, Brazil and South Africa. “It was exactly ten years ago in 2003, when India, Brazil and South Africa announced at the United Nations General Assembly, their decision to establish a Trust Fund in partnership with the UNDP, with one singular aim: to contributing to, in our own ways, eradicating poverty and alleviating hunger,” said ambassador Asoke K. Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations.
Ambassadors releasing the IBSA publication. India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji is on extreme left.
He added “What subsequently became operational with a mere $ 3 million initial corpus has today metamorphosed into a fund with accumulated and invested operating capital of more than $ 26 million, with 14 success stories implemented, and several others ongoing. These are spread all across the spectrum of the developing world, as examples of best practices in our common fight against “the greatest global challenge” of poverty eradication.” IBSA fund has been actively funding projects in Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Viet NAM, Cape Verde, Haiti supporting a wide range of projects. 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- all with the singular aim of contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in partnership with UNDP. The event was attended by Ambassadors of some select countries – Palestine, Burundi, Vietnam and Cambodia- which are being benefited from IBSA projects. “South South cooperation via this project is very important for my country especially in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The fund has helped build a facility for testing HIV and also to spread awareness about the disease especially in rural areas,” said Anesie Ndayishimiye, first counselor, permanent mission of Burundi to the United Nations, adding, “The percentage of population who have HIV is growing in rural region which was not affected as much as the urban region.” Ambassador Mukerji also addressed the issue of “increased burden sharing when such calls are placed upon the so called ‘rising South'”. The IBSA Trust Fund operates through a demand driven approach. Governments of other developing countries request support by this fund, the board of directors at IBSA fund review the proposal before releasing the funds. He said that, “The Fund is an exercise in solidarity which is initiated only at the explicit request of a developing partner, and not imposed from above.” And that the initiative is “in keeping with our (India’s) commitment on South South Cooperation in which we (India) have already invested billions of dollars since our independence,” he said. The event was followed by the inauguration of an IBSA Exhibition at the UN headquarters, which featured panels on projects completed under the IBSA Fund.