NEW YORK – President Paul Kagame yesterday delivered a statement to the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. In his address, President Kagame spoke on the challenges of poverty, ignorance, terrorism, conflict and climate change. He commended the ongoing UN reforms in which Rwanda is one of the first eight pilot countries for implementation, pointing out that Rwanda looked forward to the reform of the UN Security Council aimed at making the body more representative and “equip the UN with greater legitimacy and capacity to maintain world peace and security”.
Kagame highlighted the insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as one of the continued problems that need to be seriously addressed as this was hindering the consolidation of peace and security on the continent and particularly the Great Lakes region.
He pointed out that the forces that committed the Genocide in Rwanda continued to cause conflict and destruction, and that the presence of the UN peacekeeping Mission in the DRC (Monuc) has not succeeded in deterring them.
While renewing Rwanda’s commitment to contributing the restoration of peace in the region, Kagame urged “the International Community in collaboration with the DRC to end the threat posed by these negative forces once and for all. Rwandans and the region as a whole need peace and stability so that we can concentrate on the business of economic growth and development.”
On ending poverty and creating wealth, he pointed to increased productive capacities in the developing world, opening up of global markets for trade and investment, supplemented by improvement in the quality of development aid in line with national development priorities, as key solutions to much needed socioeconomic transformation.
The President also noted the importance of environmental protection stressing that “Our ultimate goal of improving lives globally cannot be realised if the challenge of climate change and the associated widespread environmental degradation is not sufficiently tackled.”
Following the address, Kagame met with Srgjan Kerim, president of the sixty-second session of the General Assembly.
Among the issues discussed was the reinforcement of the UN General Assembly, Rwanda’s support for key programmes including reform of UN and the Millennium Development Goals.