25 September 2018

Rwanda: Collective Effort Needed to Ensure Effectiveness and Integrity of Peacekeeping - President Kagame

President Kagame on Tuesday called for collective effort to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of peacekeeping as he addressed a high-level meeting on the Secretary General's Initiative on Action for Peacekeeping.

"For nearly 70 years, the United Nations has worked to protect civilians and safeguard the transition from war to peace all over the world. The majority of troops have served very honourably, and they deserve our gratitude and respect, even as we uncompromisingly deal with the failures that have resulted in crimes. In the face of new threats and challenges, a collective effort is needed to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of peacekeeping. In an ideal world, we would not need peacekeepers. But so long as we do, let's make sure they are deployed in support of a clear political process, as highlighted by the Secretary-General. This means having the right mandates, without detrimental caveats, as well the resources and equipment needed to get the job done. Close collaboration with host countries and strong multi-level partnerships are indispensable" President Kagame said.

President Kagame also observed that partnership with Africa is central to the success of peacekeeping mission.

"Our continent is among the biggest troop contributors, but also the host of the largest share of peacekeeping missions. To manage this burden, the United Nations and the African Union must collaborate closely, including by ensuring stable funding for African Union-mandated peace support operations. The Action for Peacekeeping Initiative is a very timely and comprehensive framework for making peacekeeping fit-for- purpose. Rwanda fully endorses the Declaration of Shared Commitments and looks forward to working together on this basis going forward" President Kagame said.

Prior to the meeting on peacekeeping, President Kagame also attended and delivered a Keynote Address at Concordia Summit which seeks to build effective public-private partnerships to create a more prosperous and sustainable future

President Kagame emphasised on the need for right planning and investments to take full advantage of the youth bulge at labor market.

"In Rwanda, for example, more than 70 per cent of the population is under age 30. We have averaged economic growth of more than 7 per cent per year since 2001, but our labour market must still accommodate a very large number of new, young job-seekers each year. This youth bulge is an unusual demographic profile that will characterise Africa for a few decades more. It will drive economic growth and urbanisation, so it is a net-plus. But we need to have the right planning and investments in place to take full advantage, while avoiding negative side-effects" President Kagame said.

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