Kigali, 26 September 2014

This morning, President Kagame addressed a high level meeting on strengthening international peacekeeping. The session aimed at improving funding and deployment of peacekeepers around the world was co-hosted by Rwanda, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan and the United States.As the fifth largest contributor of peacekeepers in the world, Rwanda recently joined an initiative launched by the United States to ensure rapid deployment of peacekeepers in conflict situation. The initiative will include 6 African nations and funding of 110 million dollars for training and equipment.

President Kagame emphasized three points that remain essential for effective peacekeeping: speed of deployment, protection of civilian and connection with communities served by peacekeepers.

“When lives are at stake, nothing matters more than saving them. Protection of civilians should be the central purpose of peacekeeping.”

Speaking on the source of Rwanda’s motivation for continuous involvement in peacekeeping, President Kagame pointed to the lessons Rwanda has learned from its history. To date, Rwanda counts over 36,000 military personnel and 2,000 police officers to 16 missions around the world.

President Kagame added the importance of peacekeepers understanding and serving the community they aim to protect:

“It is important for peacekeepers to connect with the communities they serve. Doing so makes them better able to respond to outbreaks of violence, but more importantly to prevent them.”

Heads of states and governments recommitted to providing financial and operational support to ensure rapid and effective response to conflicts.