New York, 25 September 2013
President Kagame has cautioned that although a lot has changed in the world, where a billion people were lifted out of poverty, more children sent to school, greater care for the sick provided and a generation born in a new age of information ready to embrace ever expanding frontiers of technology, the transformation is not yet complete.
While addressing the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York today, President Kagame said:
“Thirteen years ago, the Millennium Development Goals established humanitarian principles for the 21st century.Together, member states and international organisations stood for an ideal– that the world’s poorest nations and poorest people should not have to live without dignity and hope. But the transformation is not yet complete. The shortcomings are as long as the successes. And as we think about the post-2015 agenda, we must have the courage to go beyond business as usual.”
Listen to the speech: http://paulkagame.tv/podcast/?p=episode&name=2013-09-25_kagame__1.mp3
President Kagame urged the world to take an honest look at the MDGs, and point out what worked and what did not, and commit to forge a new global partnership, founded on mutual responsibility and trust and pointed out that this would require developing nations to take greater ownership in the post-2015 agenda:
“One of the failings of aid has been the lack of attention to country specific context in the agreements. So, now is the time for the developing world to make their voice heard, to shape the debate and to ensure policies and programmes are demand-driven. It will also require governments to empower those whose lives we are trying to transform; to give them a stake in the process and a say in the progress of the country. In Rwanda, we have found that empowering local leaders, while demanding accountability, is an effective catalyst for development. ”
President Kagame said that Post 2015 presents an opportunity to turn the new sense of possibility into a reality; to give people in developing nations increased opportunity.
“In Rwanda, we are on course to meet all the MDG targets. But for us the MDGs are a floor, not a ceiling. We remain tireless in the pursuit of progress, because we know all too well the cost of failure.”
President Kagame informed the General Assembly that Rwanda would be commemorating 20 years since the genocide against the Tutsi and that Rwandans were standing strong, having overcome adversity.
“In building a new nation, we have a purpose that is informed by a tragic past but focused firmly on the future. And as part of a larger African and world community, moving towards the next chapter of global development, we must create strong and meaningful partnerships that impact positively on the lives of all. Together, we can make sure the post-2015 era is defined by opportunity and optimism, prosperity and progress, dignity and hope.”
Concerning the trials of Kenyan leans for allegations of involvement in the the Kenyan post election violence, President Kagame urged the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council to prevail on the ICC to discontinue the trial of the President and Deputy President of Kenya:
“Africans supported the global consensus against impunity and the creation of an international justice system to fight it. We did so on the understanding that such a system would promote peace and security within and between nations, and uphold the principle of equal sovereignty of nations. In practice, however, the ICC has flouted these principles. It has shown open bias against Africans. Instead of promoting justice and peace, it has undermined efforts at reconciliation and humiliated African leaders. Nowhere have the shortcomings of the ICC been more evident than in the ongoing trial of the president and deputy president of Kenya. Kenyans have shown eagerness to heal wounds of the past, reconcile and move on. That is why they elected their present leaders. These efforts should be supported, not undermined. National judicial capacity to fight impunity must be developed and supported. That is the least we can do to uphold the principle of equality of nations, support the reconciliation process in Kenya and respect the dignity of Africans.”
Earlier on in the morning, President Kagame addressed the MDG Innovation Forum on accelerating progress on the MDGs, where he highlighted the importance of broadband infrastructure in empowering communities and accelerating progress towards MDGs. President Kagame also attended a private High-Level Meeting on PEPFAR Country Health Partnerships hosted by Secretary of State, John Kerry, where he said Rwanda appreciates the US Government’s support to fight HIV and AIDS:
“It is a partnership that has saved lives. A partnership that appreciates in-country ownership, leadership and decision making is crucial for PEPFAR’s success. Rwanda is ready to begin this new phase of the PEPFAR partnership, so that the good work is long-lasting.”