Kagame accepts UN appointment

President Paul Kagame yesterday said that he feels greatly honoured to be appointed co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group, made up of the world’s leading thinkers, coming together to combat poverty.

President Paul Kagame yesterday said that he feels greatly honoured to be appointed co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group, made up of the world’s leading thinkers, coming together to combat poverty.

He said that he is ready to share Rwanda’s experience with the rest of the world.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named a high-profile committee including President Kagame as a co-chair, aimed at combating poverty, assessing and fast tracking implementation of Millennium Development Goals.

On his appointment to co-chair the group with the Spanish Prime Minister, who is also the current President of the European Union (EU), Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Kagame said that it is a sign that the UN recognises the contribution Rwanda is capable of making.

“Through the appointment, it is an honour to our country Rwanda to be recognised that we can make a contribution in this development process which will involve our own country, but also concerns and affects other developing nations.

“We are happy to be there in that capacity as requested by the Secretary General that I participate in a group of selected people who can help examine what has been done, what needs to be done, and when we can be at the level we want, in the next few years.”

Kagame said that he will be bringing to this group Rwanda’s experience and also “happily share” how the country has come to register impressive progress and at the same time dealing with the many challenges it faced. 

“I have happily accepted to be part of that process as a co-chair together with the President of the EU and there will be many people of different backgrounds who have a lot of experience and resources. I am happy to be with them dealing with this challenge,” Kagame said.

Others in the group include Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, CNN’s founder, Ted Turner and Jeffrey Sachs of The Earth Institute and professor at Columbia University.

Announcing the group, Ki-moon said “distinguished” personalities from China, India, Japan and Britain will also join the panel.

“As you can see, this is a real collection of superheroes in defeating poverty,” the UN chief said.

The Secretary General announced the team while releasing the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Report.

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