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India contributes $4.71 mn more to UN Democracy Fund

United States America,Diplomacy,Business/Economy, Sat, 31 Mar 2012 IANS

United Nations, March 31 (IANS) India has made a further contribution of $4.71 million to the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) set up in 2005 to encourage participation of all groups in democratic processes.


Hardeep Singh Puri, India's permanent representative to the UN, Friday handed over a cheque for the amount to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


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


The UNDEF was initiated as a result of a partnership between India and the US and was launched in New York Sep 14, 2005, jointly by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US President George W. Bush and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.


India is the second largest contributor to the UNDEF, having contributed $29.71 million by March 2012. At the inception of the Fund, India contributed $10 million. Thereafter, India made contributions of $5 million each in 2008, 2009 and 2011.


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


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


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


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