New York, 21 September 2011

President Kagame on September 21 addressed the 66th United Nations General Assembly taking place in New York, under the theme: The need for world leaders to deliver on the promise of sustainable development. President Paul Kagame called on members of the United Nations to take individual responsibility for the achievement of sustainable development.

In his address, President Kagame said: “The most viable option for preventing conflict is to empower our citizens economically, politically and socially, especially the youth…they are the thought leaders not only of tomorrow but right now…it is our responsibility to empower them to believe in themselves and a better future”.

The President also emphasized the significance of homegrown solutions to address local challenges by stating that: “Long lasting solutions emanate from within…external mediation experts, even with good intentions, do not often bring change at the root level. Mediation needs to be based on bringing conflicting parties to resolve differences not on imposing solutions in the interest of the mediators”.

President Kagame also met with Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Allasane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire. While talking to media after the meeting, President Ouattara said that he plans to draw lessons from Rwanda’s successful unity and reconciliation policies.