New York, 20 September 2017
President Kagame today addressed the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York, attended by world leaders and heads of international organisations. President Kagame appealed to the global family to offer their support to the UN Secretary General in his endeavor to transform the UN into an effective body that caters for all members’ interests.
“The Secretary General deserves our full support, to make the United Nations not only effective, but transformational. We have the tools and the mandates to address global challenges, from climate change, to peace-building, human equality and development. Where we fall short, is in getting things done.”
President Kagame pointed out that as it stands, the UN was not meeting members’ expectations:
“Every year, the United Nations channels billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance. The United Nations provides a platform for major international agreements. The United Nations also sets the global agenda on key policy issues, from development, to women’s rights. These are signs of an organisation that is both relevant, and, in many cases, competent. And yet there is a sense, that the United Nations is not meeting our needs and expectations.”
On the reforms initiated by the UN Secretary General, especially in response to sexual exploitation and child abuse, President Kagame said:
“These steps go to the heart of the matter: The deficit of trust and accountability in the international system. To be truly effective at delivering a “decent life for all”, the United Nations must treat all the people it serves with impartiality and respect, and it must be a good steward of the funds entrusted to it. Abuse and waste are therefore not a mere public relations problem, but an existential challenge which must be tackled head-on.”
President Kagame observed that with these reforms, the UN and the AU would be able to work together better especially in the area of peacekeeping, where the two bodies are already involved and working hand in hand in several African countries.
President Kagame also called on the member countries to consider ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which he said would benefit individual countries in ending the use of dangerous gases and ultimately improve the global climate.