The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda to Host Continental Secretariat On GBV

The second International Conference on the role of security organs in ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Africa held in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, has unanimously agreed to establish a permanent secretariat in Kigali to coordinate its activities.

The establishment of the permanent secretariat in Kigali is one of the 14-point resolutions adopted during the two-day conference attended by delegates from 26 African countries, which ended last week.

The Conference was organised in the framework of the Africa UNiTE Campaign launched by the African Heads of State in Ethiopia's capital - Addis Ababa - in February 2010.

The main objective of the conference is to reflect on how to build and strengthen the capacity of security organs through innovative approaches for prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls in Africa.

During the Bujumbura conference, which also agreed to maintain Kigali International Conference (KIC) as the name of the forum, African countries agreed to operationalise and strengthen the secretariat and chairmanship and develop a database on VAWG by each member state to facilitate exchange of information and advocacy.

It was also agreed that African countries enhance recruitment and promotion of women in the security organs, reinforce mechanisms and services for victims and provide medical centre - One stop Centre - for GBV survivors.

Rwanda is currently the only African country with a psycho-socio and medical care - Isange One-Stop Centre - which has been a model for other countries.

The centre which operates under Kacyiru Police Hospital (KPH) was established in 2010 to provide free medical care to GBV victims in the country.

In May this year, Rwanda scooped the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA)-2012 for her successful fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

UNPSA is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.

The recognition dubbed "Promoting Gender Responsive Delivery" of Public Services was based on the country's campaign against SGBV, through Isange one Stop Centre.

During the conference, Rwanda's Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana also handed over the KIC chairmanship to Burundi's Director General of Police, Fabien Ndayishimiye.

Gasana took office in October 2010 during the first conference held in Kigali.

He said that GBV "is not only a crime, but also a serious developmental issue, especially in our societies that are still struggling to "make ends meet" and it must be fought without reserve, fear or favour."

He outlined the establishment of KIC secretariat to coordinate and follow-up the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) implementation, establishment of the KICD website, annual training and the KIC action plan 2011-2012, as some of the achievements.

"The conference is a living testimony that the law enforcers from this region of Africa believes and stands firmly with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Let us move from commitment to actions. Let us join hands and unite for the common good to make a safer world for all," said Gasana.

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