On behalf of the government and people of Rwanda, and on my own behalf, I would like to welcome you all to our country and wish you a productive and enjoyable stay.
It is an honour to host the Interpol General Assembly and we thank you for choosing Kigali as your venue.
Let me also take the opportunity to express Rwanda’s appreciation for the solid cooperation we have had with Interpol over the years.
Security is the foundation for everything. When it breaks down, the costs are huge: loss of life, destruction of trust within society and in public institutions, and economic stagnation.
We experienced the worst of this in Rwanda where the country’s security forces at the time were at the forefront of the genocidal machinery.
Allow me to express our sincere gratitude to Interpol for your efforts in tracking down fugitives wanted for genocide in Rwanda, and helping to deliver justice for victims and survivors – even though there remains much work to be done.
Many more of these fugitives are still at large and we will have to continue working with Interpol, and the international community, to ensure justice is done.
In the last twenty-one years, Rwanda has worked to build effective, citizen-focused governance institutions. One of them, notably, is the Rwanda National Police, which this year marks its 15th anniversary.
Today, this young police force, working closely with communities, provides one of the most secure environments in the world, where Rwandans can pursue socio-economic transformation.
The Rwanda National Police is also able to actively contribute to Interpol’s mandate of a safer world.
Globalisation presents many opportunities for progress and development. But a more connected world also brings with it increased risk of crimes that cross national jurisdictions.
Because of the very nature of these crimes, no country can deal with the challenges alone. We must work closely together.
This is where Interpol excels.
For more than a century, Interpol has been able to adapt to changing times, complementing bilateral and regional efforts.
Interpol’s capacity for information sharing and concerted action helps eliminate the gaps, where international crime flourishes. Moreover, by cultivating the shared values and norms of law enforcement, Interpol makes the world a better place.
The organisation’s embrace of communication technology and global capacity-building partnerships, adds value to the work of police forces around the world.
The structure of Interpol itself recognises that each member has something to contribute to all the others.
This allows police authorities to interact with each other directly, from a foundation of trust and shared purpose.
National police forces should take full advantage of this platform in their daily work, to proactively keep abreast of emerging trends and innovative solutions, not just when crisis strikes.
Finally, I would like to commend the organisers of this meeting, which will further enhance our collective effort to tackle transnational crimes and other complex security challenges.
Interpol is a good model for effective international cooperation generally. The world could learn a lot from how Interpol has conducted its affairs: quietly, effectively and collaboratively.
Rest assured that Rwanda will remain a reliable and committed partner in the pursuit of global security and justice.
It is now my pleasure, to declare the 84th session of the Interpol General Assembly officially open.
Thank you for your participation and kind attention.