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It is for me an enormous pleasure to join you to celebrate the first anniversary of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
India played a very important role in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals. And even before the Goals were crystallized, India’s own development efforts and vision reflected many of the same priorities and aspirations.
India is, for all of us, a very important inspiration.
Today, in the third year of implementing the 2030 Agenda, I thank India for its strong commitment to multilateralism and to partnership with the United Nations, which is expressed in many ways across the global agenda and which we see again through the activities of this important Fund.
The Fund that shows the further deepening of South-South cooperation, an increasingly valuable dimension of our work for development.
But this is also the moment to remind that South-South cooperation is not an instrument aiming at replacing North-South cooperation. South-South cooperation is not an instrument for the commitments that were made by developed countries now to be put aside. South-South cooperation must be a stimulus for an intensified North-South cooperation, for the Addis Ababa agenda to be fully implemented and for everybody to assume their responsibilities in the context of a world in which we want a fair globalization, in which justice prevails in international relations.
And the Fund’s support for Southern-owned and Southern-led projects throughout the developing world rightly emphasizes solidarity, mutual benefits as well as national ownership.
And these are values that are also central when we recently approved in the General Assembly a resolution on the UN development system.
And the Fund’s focus on supporting people in least developed countries, small island developing states and landlocked developing states reflects our ambition to reach those that are left furthest behind and to reach them first.
Let me commend India once again for its leadership and solidarity. And I look forward to further engagement on this timely initiative. And I will have the opportunity soon in Delhi to congratulate the Indian government on this very very important initiative.