The Rwandan government and the United Nations on Monday, penned an agreement presenting the latter with land on which the One UN Programme structure will be built.
About four hectares of land in Kagugu, Gasabo District was allotted to the world body, in what Foreign Affairs Minister, Rosemary Museminali said was part of the fulfilment to the UN by Rwanda as a member state.
“What is more significant about this land is the fact that the UN is committing to building its home, a permanent home, in Rwanda that is going to house all the UN organisations under the One UN family,” said Museminali from whose offices the agreement was signed.
“We appreciate the activities the UN is doing here but also feel that on their part it is a commitment to keep on working with Rwanda, to have a more permanent home here, and to integrate their programmes.”
After signing the agreement, the UN Resident Coordinator Aurélien Agbénonci appreciated the Rwandan government’s support.
“We know that in terms of land, Rwanda is not that big but for Rwanda to decide to give that piece of land to the United Nations, for us it is very important, it is historical, and we really appreciate this important decision made by the government of this country,” Agbénonci said.
“The leadership of this country has volunteered to be among the eight countries that will experience the push of the UN reform because this organisation needs to go through a lot of change.”
“And we have started to experience some of the new modalities of doing business here and, by clustering all the UN agencies here in one location we are trying to achieve one of the forth pillars of the One UN Programme.”
• Environmentally friendly
“We have committed ourselves to having an eco-friendly building in Rwanda. This will certainly be one of the African counties to have of an eco-friendly building and this is also part of the commitment of the Secretary General,” Agbénonci said, noting that, usually, a UN house takes two to three years to be built but did not say when construction would begin.
“Our ambition is to make sure that Rwanda-UN house is one of the best not only in Africa but certainly in the world. We are committed to that and want to do that.”
The “One UN” pilot initiative will test in eight countries how the UN family – with its many and diverse agencies - delivering in a more co-ordinated way at country level.
Rwanda was selected, along with seven others to pilot the concept which is expected to result in one budgetary framework, one UN leader and one UN office.
Other countries where the initiative is piloted include Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam.