Meeting MDGs must remain the international priority
NEW YORK - President Kagame, yesterday, addressed the Millennium Development Goals Summit taking place at the United Nations, and underscored the urgent need to seize the current momentum behind the MDG agenda.
He pointed out to the dramatic changes in the political and economic environment since the MDGs were established in 2000 and said that this must be reflected in ongoing efforts to realize the goals.
“We need to ensure we are having a discussion for today and tomorrow’s reality, not yesterday’s. Meeting the MDGs must remain the international priority – notwithstanding our ever changing circumstances – and not just because it is in mode at the moment,” he said.
President Kagame noted that leaders in the developing world needed to do more to drive the MDG agenda, which has so far been dominated by limited voices from developed nations and nongovernmental organisation. He pointed out that these actors, though well-intentioned, were often informed by paternalism, charity and unfulfilled promises, as opposed to partnership, self-reliance, and real change on the ground.
“We can no longer rely on the goodwill of other nations. We must assume effective leadership, take full ownership of the development of our countries and truly deliver for our citizens. “
President Kagame highlighted the importance of empowerment and improved health for women and girls, in changing lives and alleviating poverty. He also urged leaders to embrace the transformational power of technology, particularly access to broadband in order to boost socioeconomic development.
President Kagame said that much more can be achieved through robust regional cooperation and called for greater South to South dialogue and economic cooperation.
“The agencies mandated to foster development in our regions need to increasingly work together, not only to share best practice, but crucially to empower the nation states of the South so that our vision and energies may deliver the MDGs.”
President Kagame reiterated his firm belief in the achievability of the MDGs and said that evidence had already shown that; “...where governments own their development, where real partnership between supporters and those supported occur, and where the agenda is designed and executed by the people whom it is intended for, tangible results are obtained and livelihoods are improved.”
The three-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly is being held to take stock of the progress so far towards the MDGs – which include slashing poverty, combating disease, fighting hunger, protecting the environment and boosting education – and to determine what else needs to be done to reach the Goals by their target date of 2015.