Rwanda to share peace experience

Rwanda is set to share its experience in post-conflict peace building process during a high-level United Nations conference, that opens tomorrow in Kigali. The two-day conference jointly organised by the government, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN, is expected to bring together top leaders from at least 10 countries, including Heads of State and Government.
Olivier Nduhungirehe. The New Times / J. Mbanda
Olivier Nduhungirehe. The New Times / J. Mbanda

Rwanda is set to share its experience in post-conflict peace building process during a high-level United Nations conference, that opens tomorrow in Kigali.

The two-day conference jointly organised by the government, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN, is expected to bring together top leaders from at least 10 countries, including Heads of State and Government.

According to Olivier Nduhungirehe, the first consular at Rwanda’s Permanent Mission at the UN, Rwanda will not only share its experiences as a country that overcame conflict 17 years ago, but also one that has played a key role in global peacekeeping.

The conference is expected to bring together delegates from nations that constitute the UN Peace Building Commission (PBC) which Rwanda currently chairs, as well as those emerging from conflict.

“Rwanda is the current chair of the PBC whose chairmanship is rotated on a continental basis. 2011 was Africa’s turn and it was decided that Rwanda has an experience to share with the rest of the world,” Nduhungirehe noted.

The commission that was formed in 2005 is currently chaired since January by Rwanda’s Ambassador to the UN, Richard Eugene Gasana. Rwanda pledged to use its one year tenure to share lessons with other countries coming emerging from conflict.

Nduhungirehe said that the meeting would bring together 10 countries, including the six that are on the PBC and four emerging from conflict.

Other members include Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone, while those emerging from conflict include Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, South Sudan and East Timor.

“We thought that it was important to invite other countries emerging from conflict. We will be honoured to have President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi attending,” Nduhungirehe disclosed.

Others in attendance will be Guillaume Soro, the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of East Timor, among the top guests.

“Rwanda will be able to share her experience, in three areas, mainly leadership and ownership of our development process, because over the last 17 years, that is what Rwanda focused on good leadership and people centred policies,” Nduhungirehe said.

The country will also share lessons on how innovation can lead to social economic transformation, including government programmes that involve people at the grassroots level. The third area will be the strategic use of aid.

“The outcomes of the meeting will be relied on by PBC on other countries on its agenda and we also hope other international organisations outside UN and countries emerging out of conflict will find our experience useful,” Nduhungirehe said.

The conference aims at “drawing upon Rwanda’s experience in addressing some of the critical challenges the country faced following the Genocide in 1994”. However, the country will also draw lessons from the experiences of other countries.

North African countries, which have recently been involved in the bloody Arab Spring, will not be taking part. Several scholars are expected to discuss peace building. Sudanese-British BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi, is expected to moderate at the conference.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, said the meeting would help enhance the “ongoing global dialogue on peace-building and getting Africa to be a more important contributor to the process”.

The meeting will ‘reflect on Rwanda’s journey towards reconciliation, reconstruction and development with a focus on leadership and national ownership; innovative approaches to reconciliation and socioeconomic development; and the strategic use of aid, as the key drivers,” adds the communiqué.

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