India's Ambassador presents SG with cheque of almost five million for UNDEF
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, presented the Secretary-General with a cheque for 4.71 million dollars for the UN Democracy Fund on 30 March 2012, bringing to nearly 30 million dollars India's total contribution since the Fund’s inception seven years ago. As the world’s largest democracy and one of the original founders of UNDEF, India thus remains UNDEF’s second largest donor.
Also present at the handover were Manjeev Singh Puri, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Pavan Kapoor, Director-General of the UN Department at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Nambiar, outgoing Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, and Annika Savill, Deputy Executive Head of UNDEF. The Secretary-General thanked India for its consistent support to UNDEF, including its constructive work as a member of the Fund’s Advisory Board, UNDEF’s main governing body. He said he was delighted to receive the contribution from "the world’s greatest democracy”, noting: "Such a level of contributions is easy to pledge, but very difficult to implement.". He noted the added importance of supporting UNDEF at this crucial time for democratization efforts in the Arab world and elsewhere.Ambassador Singh said UNDEF's "fame is spreading far and wide" and India was proud to have been “first through the gate" in supporting the Fund as an effective instrument for promoting democratic values and processes. The Fund, which was initiated through a partnership between India and the United States, was launched by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2005. It supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights and encourage participation of all groups in democratic processes.