New Delhi: India has highlighted how it “prioritizes institution-building” as part of its global peace-building efforts, and these efforts are focused on “extensive development partnership with developing countries” in Asia and Africa.
Speaking at United Nations General Assembly, Indian diplomat Pratik Mathur said, “As a democracy, we are conscious of the need to prioritize institution building, in particular, governance structures to strengthen institutional capacity and the rule of law, taking into account the views of the host government” and “consequently, these need to be the building blocks on which peace-building should rest.”
Mathur made the comments at the annual UN General assembly debate on peacebuilding and sustaining peace.
As part of the development support globally, India had established the India-UN Development Partnership Fund in 2017. In a span of 4 years, the Fund has developed a portfolio of 64 development projects in partnership with 48 developing countries. These countries include 17 countries in Africa.
Mathur, who is a counsellor at the Indian mission to United Nations said, “India, through its extensive development partnership with developing countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, has always played a constructive and significant role in the context of peacebuilding. “
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund has been used in projects related to climate resilience, environmental sustainability, gender equality, renewable energy, improving maternal health, etc.
Mathur explained, “India has and continues to assist countries bilaterally in post-conflict situations by providing substantial grants and soft loans”, adding “In the sphere of training for example, for countries emerging out of conflict situations in Africa, our focused training in areas of electoral administration, good governance, etc. has been deeply valued by these countries.”
When it comes to Africa, India has executed 189 developmental projects in 37 African countries and currently, around 77 projects are under execution. Indian govt has also committed US$ 1.7 billion as soft loans for solar projects in the continent and has offered 50,000 scholarships to African students.
Speaking about India’s support in Afghanistan, he said, “In our neighborhood, for instance in Afghanistan, India is also contributing to peace-building efforts. Our development partnership, including more than 550 Community Development Projects covering all 34 provinces of the country, is aimed at strengthening Afghanistan.”
India has been a major donor to Afghanistan in the last 20 years. It has built several major infrastructure projects in the country like the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in Herat, and the Afghan Parliament.
In his closing comments, Pratik added, “India has always been known for its unflinching commitment to peace-keeping” and “we are convinced that nation-building activities will be strengthened even more if the road ahead includes strong support for peacebuilding as well.”