General Assembly General Assembly

Closing of the 20th Session of High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation “Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through effective implementation of the BAPA+40 outcome document while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and similar global crises”


Segment on South-South Trust Funds


Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the UN

4 June 2021



Madam President,


It is my distinct honor and privilege to take the floor as we prepare to conclude the deliberations at the 20th session of High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation.


The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of multilateral institutions and they have been found wanting. The loss of human lives has been compounded by the socio-economic hardship unleashed by this pandemic. Recovery, Resilience and reform is the need of the hour. It is in this context that South-South Cooperation needs to acquire a renewed vigour since we, the south, are closer to the reality of the south and have appropriate solutions.


Madam President,


Historically, India has prioritized cooperation over conflict, co-existence over competition, sharing over receiving, and shared prosperity over zero-sum notions of growth. It was a manifestation of this spirit of solidarity that during the ongoing pandemic, India reached out to more than 150 countries, offering medicines, critical medical equipment and vaccines. The recent second wave of the pandemic in India saw an outpouring of immense goodwill from all across the world. We express our gratitude to all those who have come forward to support us.


Over the years, India’s development partnership has evolved organically to touch upon the full spectrum of human endeavor. Time and again, we have consciously taken steps to reinforce these links with new ties, new initiatives, new technological and digital solutions, new sectors of engagement and new paradigms of cooperation.


Madam President,


The IBSA fund is an exemplary manifestation of a partnership between 3 robust and resilient emerging economies to ensure for developing countries equal opportunity of development with sustainable and economic growth. Till date, 31 partner countries have benefited from an exchange of knowledge, skills and technologies across 35 developmental projects to deliver indigenous solutions for their people.


I would also take this opportunity to touch on the India-UN Development Partnership Fund which was established in 2017. In a short span of 4 years, the Fund has developed a portfolio of 64 development projects in partnership with 48 developing countries, focusing on South-led, demand-driven development and transformational projects.


Through these funds, it has been our endeavour to focus on, inter alia, climate resilience, environmental sustainability, gender equality, renewable energy, improving maternal health, water and sanitation, education, employment and livelihoods, disaster recovery and risk management, agricultural development and infrastructure.


Madam President,


At a time when funds for achieving SDGs are getting squeezed or re-prioritized to more immediate requirements due to the pandemic, we need to ensure that funds are utilized to the optimum to achieve SDGs. India’s approach will continue to be human-centric, based on principles of mutual respect and national ownership with a commitment to sustainable development for all.


I also wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate the UNOSSC and its excellent team and also all the UN agencies which have tirelessly worked to partner alongside us in making this vision of South-South Cooperation a success.


As Swami Vivekananda, a renowned philosopher from India, said (and I quote), “Each nation must give in order to live. When you give life, you will have life; when you receive, you must pay for it by giving to all others.”


I thank you.