New York, 22 September 2016

Addressing the 71st United Nations General Assembly General in New York, United States, President Paul Kagame called on world leaders to ensure that all development efforts are aimed at improving the lives and wellbeing of the people and unleashing their potential.

President Kagame pointed out that the international community should embark on implementing key agreements on sustainable development, climate change and combating violent extremism and that “real people” need to be at the centre of these efforts.

“First, always remember that the ultimate purpose of these efforts is to transform the lives of real people by enhancing their well-being, safety, and access to opportunity,” Kagame said.


He said that by keeping in mind the lives of people they were working for, there was no reason not to achieve the targets. “If we keep the people we are fighting for at the front of our minds and build on lessons learned, then there is no reason why we cannot achieve everything we have committed ourselves to”.

President Kagame called on the UN member states to take into account the lessons learnt from previous experiences and to promote inclusive growth plans that enable particularly women to reach their potential.

“We have learned the lesson that technology has to be part of the strategy for achieving all the Global Goals. Everyone in the world needs to have access to high-speed internet.”

President Kagame highlighted the role of partnerships across various sectors, including the private sector while working towards the goals.

“We have also seen the importance of forging meaningful partnerships with the private sector to improve the speed and scale of delivery. These perspectives will inform the work of the new SDG Centre for Africa, which Rwanda is pleased to host with the support of our partners.”

As part of the broader efforts to implement the plans under climate change and sustainable development frameworks, President Kagame said that Kigali was set to host a summit on the Montréal Protocol on the Ozone Layer to deliberate on phasing out hydro-fluorocarbons

“The nearly 30-year-old Montréal Protocol is already one of the most successful international agreements in history, and it now affords us the opportunity to take a significant step forward in implementing the one-year-old Paris Agreement.  I urge all member states to join with us to pass this important measure.”

President Kagame also attended the US-Africa Business Summit which focused on expanding trade and investment opportunities on the continent.

Earlier in the day, the President had also attended a forum on ‘Israeli Innovation in Africa and Developing Countries’ that was chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.