24 September 2018

Africa: National Unity Is a Good Thing, Wherever It Takes Hold - President Kagame At Nelson Mandela Peace Summit

New York, 24 September 2018- President Kagame on Monday delivered opening remarks at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in honour of the centenary of the birth of Mandela ahead of the 73th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

President Kagame said Nelson Mandela's centenary presents an ideal moment to reflect on the meaning that the legacy of this great African freedom fighter and statesman holds for us today.

"Nelson Mandela understood that the politics of confrontation and division impedes a nation's social cohesion and progress. Even though the wounds were still fresh, he endeavored to show that the suffering endured by him and countless other South Africans could be re-directed toward building a more positive future for the country" President Kagame said.

President Kagame further told participants that Rwanda's tragic history has taught Rwandans the importance of unity and inclusivity for reconciliation and nation-building.

"We work to ensure that all citizens have equal rights and opportunities and are able to participate actively in shaping our country's direction in meaningful ways. This approach has allowed us to restore trust in public institutions, and also in each other. Inclusive and non-sectarian politics is not only advantageous in Africa or in post-conflict situations. As the world has been seeing, national unity is a good thing, wherever it takes hold" President Kagame said.

President Kagame also attended the launch of the United Nations Youth Strategy where he has been called to serve on UNICEF's "Generation Unlimited" Leaders Group.

The Head of State pointed out that responding to the global youth's aspiration should be part of the United Nations' core mandate.

"The United Nations cannot be "relevant to all people" without an answer to the aspirations of the world's youth. After all, in developing countries, most of the population consists of young people" President Kagame said.

President Kagame also noted that equipping the next generation with the capabilities and mindsets needed for success is among the most urgent policy priorities in countries such as Rwanda Rwanda.

The Head of State will also participate in a High-level meeting on Finance for Development. The forum is an occasion for world leaders to recommit to building momentum and political support at all levels; stepping up engagement with the private sector, and making the most of innovative solutions to finance the SDGs.

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