Third World diplomacy, to unveil new measures
backdrop of the gathering momentum for the UN Security Council
expansion, India Friday will announce additional soft loans and
other concessions for Least Developed Countries from Africa,
Asia-Pacific and Latin America at a two-day conference here that
will bring together 35 ministers from these countries.
New Delhi: Underlining
its commitment to South-South cooperation, India Friday announced
another $500 million aid for a host of projects in Least Developed
Countries (LDCs) and offered to share its developmental experience
"Today, as the world's largest democracy, which supports
fundamental human rights and human freedoms, we are proud of the
progress we have been able to register to meet the economic
aspirations of our people," External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna
said while inaugurating the two-day ministerial conference of LDCs.
"We stand ready to share our experience with our friends and
brethren in the Least Developed Countries," he said.
Krishna announced a raft of additional contributions for LDCs,
including another five scholarships every year under the Indian
Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme for each LDC and a
special fund of $5 million over the next five years for the follow
up to UN LDC Four to be held in Istanbul in May.
Krishna announced a $500 million credit line over the next five
years to be used specifically for projects and programmes of LDCs.
"South-South cooperation, the theme of this conference, and one of
the cornerstones of Indian foreign policy, is one such innovative
solution that has the potential to deliver real and tangible
benefits to the Least Developed Countries and effectively
supplement and complement existing international efforts," Krishna
said. He, however, stressed that South-South cooperation is not a
substitute for North-South cooperation.
Around 35 foreign ministers and 40 Permanent Representatives to
the UN from the LDCs are participating in the conference. The
ministers called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday morning.
The conference, which will act as a precursor to the fourth
conference on LDCs in Istanbul May 9-13, is expected to come out
with a Delhi Declaration outlining ambitious plans for spurring
development of these countries.
India enjoys a multi-dimensional relationship with LDCs and has
been in the forefront of assisting their development through
generous lines of credit and other forms of assistance. Over the
decades, the foreign direct investment from India to LDC countries
has increased dramatically, and is estimated to be around $35
India has provided 4.3 billion lines of credit to LDCs over the