The New Times (Kigali)

23 March 2010

Rwanda: UN Delegation Visits Parliament

Kigali — The visiting high-level United Nations delegation consisting representatives of the governing boards of UN, yesterday said that Rwanda's rate of growth and development is impressive.

Speaking to the press shortly after holding discussions with a section of Members of Parliament and the Senate, the head of the delegation, Abderrahim Ould Hadrami, said that the group which is on a fact-finding mission is already impressed by its findings.

"Through the discussions we had with government representatives and Members of Parliament, we have been able to have an insight into the interaction between the United Nations and it gave us a good impression of what is being done here,"

"We are here to have a first-hand insight of what this interaction between the UN system and the Government of Rwanda means, and we are very pleased with the level of presentation we were given by various Rwandan experts," Hadrami observed.

He added that the group which is in the country to witness how the UN operates and delivers results on the ground under the One UN reform,s is impressed by what has been achieved in the area of good governance, economy, agriculture, empowerment of women and gender balance among other things.

The delegation was briefed by the president of the Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, and the Vice President of the Lower Chamber of Deputies, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo on how Parliament works and its role in monitoring the activities of the Executive.

Biruta, in particular, told the delegation that the women majority of 56 percent in the Rwandan Parliament is not just a figure, but a sign that the Rwandan government is keen in promoting women empowerment and gender balance.

He said that the Women MPs fully participate in the decision-making process and their input is equally considered like that of their male colleagues.

The two officials also briefed the delegation on the role of parliament in the implementation of the Vision 2020 and the EDPRS as well as fast-tracking activities to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as monitoring proper allocation of resources.

The UN team is here to monitor the progress and achievement of MDGs in collaboration with UN.

Among other areas, the group will supervise the progress of the Child Friendly School concept, capacity strengthening for good governance and through support to land terracing for productive agriculture.

Small enterprises and cooperatives, health and nutrition centres, youth centres, alternative sources of energy like hydro power and biogas, fighting violence against women and reintegration of ex-combatants are also areas of focus.

The visit has been prepared in close cooperation with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, who also chairs the One UN Steering Committee.

Earlier in the day, the delegation met the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, with whom they held discussions.

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