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India, Brazil, SA win top UN award

September 21, 2010 04:00 IST

India, Brazil and South Africa received the 2010 Millennium Development Goals awards for South-South Cooperation at a prestigious gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

The award recognized India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation and the work of the three countries in using innovative approaches to share, replicate and scale up successful development experiences for combating poverty and hunger in other parts of the world through the IBSA Trust Fund.

The award for IBSA was received by high-level representatives of the three countries and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in the United Nations Development Programme on September 19 ahead of the MDG Summit that began at the United Nations on Monday. The annual MDG Awards support and raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals.

At a briefing at India's Permanent Mission to the UN, Ambassador Hardeep Puri, India's Permanent Mission to the US displayed the trophy before media persons. The IBSA Trust Fund brings together three emerging economies and vibrant democracies that span three different continents in the quest to combat poverty in other developing countries.

Each country contributes US $ one million annually to this fund which is managed by the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation. Projects are executed by various UN Agencies and partners on the ground across the globe with a strong emphasis on national ownership.

IBSA projects focus on the sharing of best practices and proven experiences and include initiatives as diverse as improving agricultural techniques in remote villages, reducing urban violence in slums, or delivering safe drinking water. Current IBSA initiatives include projects in Haiti, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Burundi, Palestine, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

'This event is a wonderful gathering on the eve of tomorrow's Millennium Development Goals Summit. It is a reminder that we have seen some great progress in our campaign to end extreme poverty and disease, get children into school, empower women and protect the environment,' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

'Ten years into the 15-year timeframe, the picture is mixed.  The global economic crisis and the impact of climate change could further threaten our efforts.It is more urgent than ever that citizens and civil society intensify their efforts to keep the goals high on the public agenda, and hold governments accountable for delivering on their political and financial commitments,' he said.

'I congratulate all the winners of the Millennium Development Goals awards for their contributions to building a better world. '

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York