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India contributes over $4 million to UN democracy fund

March 31, 2012 19:48 IST

India has given over four million dollars to the United Nations Democracy Fund, bringing to nearly 30 million dollars its total contribution to the entity launched in 2005 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then United States President George W Bush for promotion of democratic values.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri handed over a cheque for $ 4.17 million on Friday to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Ban thanked India for its consistent support to the UNDEF, saying he was pleased to receive the contribution from the "greatest democracy".

The fund, which was initiated as a result of a partnership between India and the US, was launched jointly by Dr Singh, Bush and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York in September 2005.

India is the second largest contributor to the UNDEF, having contributed US$ 29.71 million to it so far.

At the inception of the fund, India had contributed US$10 million followed by contributions of US$ five million each in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

India considers the fund to be an effective instrument for the promotion of democratic values and processes. It has played a prominent role in the UNDEF as a member of the
Advisory Board, its apex governing body.

UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights and encourage participation of all groups in democratic processes.

Since its inception, UNDEF has funded about 400 projects in over 100 countries, bringing total disbursement to about US$ 110 million.

Yoshita Singh
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