The United Nations has been challenged to be more relevant, effective and efficient in championing sustainable change and rallying support for the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In a UN-organized debate held yesterday, stakeholders from the academia, private sector, civil society, diplomatic missions, development partners, and government representatives, challenged the body to focus attention on developing the private sector, for poverty eradication.
Speaking on behalf of the Finance Minister, the Government’s Chief Economist, Kampeta Sayinzoga, emphasized the need for dialogue in development, evaluation and adjustment of development policies.
“It’s important to discuss the role of the UN in the achievement of the MDGs. We have not achieved as much as we would like in eradication of the first MDG — extreme poverty,” Kampeta said.
She challenged the UN and other development partners to focus support on the development of the private sector so as to help the country tackle poverty as well as wean itself off aid.
“We are not saying that we don’t want aid, rather there is need to identify how best we can use aid to get to sustainability and to reach our goals,” Kampeta stressed.
Her remarks were supported by George Mulamula, the Principle Deputy CEO of RDB, who spoke about the UN involvement in democratic governance, rule of law, peace and security and human rights and insisting replication of the same to private sector.
“Rwanda needs a partnership to build her infrastructure to support private entrepreneurship. MDG goal one is crucial----we need to bring about dignified growth and alleviate our people from poverty.”
Claire Akamanzi, also from RDB, stressed that UN needs to go beyond provision of basics and survival kits to actively facilitating creation of wealth though trade and investment.
Representing the academia, the Rector of the National University of Rwanda, Prof Silas Lwakabamba, emphasized the need for the UN to facilitate the provision of quality higher education as opposed to just primary education.
“Provision of Basic education as enumerated in the MDG is not enough. The UN is missing in the development of higher education that is necessary in delivering expertise to help us attain all other goals,” Lwakakamba said.
The UN Resident Coordinator Aurélien Agbénonci said that dialogue would ensure effectiveness within UN operations.
“To make the UN carry out more efficient and effective development operations aimed at facilitating the achievement of MDGs, we need to listen to those we serve, and that’s the people. Our discussion today will challenge us to grow and deliver better,” he said.
The debate was organized as part of the ongoing series of activities taking place to mark the UN Week.