Brussels, 7 June 2017
President Kagame today delivered a Keynote Address at the opening ceremony of the European Development Days Summit in Brussels, Belgium, where he called for cooperation between European and African countries in order to foster domestic and global development.
The event is organised by the European Commission with the objective of bringing together thousands of development actors from around the globe to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
In his address, President Kagame called for more cooperation and mutual respect between Europe and Africa:
“Sustainable development rests on a foundation of good politics and respect for rights. While people may draw different lessons from their respective histories about the most suitable form of governance for their situation, there will always be ample room for discussion and exchange of views among friends.”
Concerning the issue of migration, President Kagame pointed out that the dignity and safety of migrants, both in their country of origin and destination, is paramount.
“Yet one can safely say, if very uncomfortably, that the migration crisis is a consequence of policies that have not worked well for a long time, if at all. Compromising stability by seeking to impose one’s values on others will always have adverse outcomes for everyone involved.”
President Kagame observed that if Africa and Europe had an honest and objective discussion, it would be realized that there is no basis for Africa and Europe to see in each other any threat.
“We can do better. There are responsibilities and opportunities for all of us, working together.”
President Kagame attended the EDD meeting at the invitation of the President of the European Union Commission, Jean Claude Juncker.
The global development stakeholders gathered in Brussels held discussions on investing in an inclusive development with a focus on strengthening global partnerships to promote private sector development, gender equality, and youth empowerment.
The opening ceremony of the EDD was also marked by the signing of the “New European Consensus on Development”, a blueprint aimed at setting the vision for European development.