Munich, 18 February 2017
President Kagame today joined a panel discussion on Health Security alongside Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway; Peter Salama, Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization; Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, Merck, Darmstadt with moderator David Miliband, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Rescue Committee.
The panel held during the 53rd Munich Security conference aimed to discuss the intersection of health and security and the mechanisms nations can put in place to build reliable health systems.
Sharing Rwanda’s progress in the health sectors including reducing maternal mortality by 75% and child mortality by over 80% in the last 15 years, President Kagame emphasized the central role of trust in building sustainable systems: “The Absence of security originates from the state of mind of people. Once people in society have their full place, they will always make good contribution. Trust is important as a link between institutions, leaders and citizens.”
On the topic of lessons to be drawn from past failures, President Kagame called on more efficient use of resources by partners to ensure long term results: “Resources are very critical but it is not about throwing money at a problem. It is about understanding how to deploy resources and whether they are going to be used effectively to give us the results we want so we don’t keep repeating the same mistakes.”
“If we don’t build systems that will last and keep helping in dealing with likely future problems then we are not doing much. We throw a lot of money at putting out fires but we are not putting systems that will outlast any particular problem. Sometimes the efforts circumvent systems in place instead of strengthening them so that they serve future purposes. This is an area where there is a weakness. We need to work on fixing it,” Kagame added.
The 53rd Munich Security Conference brought together more than 500 decision-makers from across the globe, including more than 25 heads of state and government and 80 foreign and defense ministers. Key guests included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Vice President Mike Pence, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres , Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi among others.