Dear Esteemed Partners, Readers and UN Family members,
I welcome you to the 2021 3rd Quarter Edition of our UN in Rwanda Newsletter “Turi Kumwe”. As always, this quarterly publication is a collection of stories from UN Agencies giving us a glimpse of the work we are engaging in Rwanda, capturing the impact we are having, delivering results together with our collective commitment to the Government and people of Rwanda -- Leaving No One Behind.
In this quarter, we had the visit of the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu. She had a courtesy meeting with the President of the Republic of Rwanda H.E Paul Kagame, with senior Government officials and partners with responsibilities to prevent Genocide and promote Unity and Reconciliation, and with the UN Country Team and the Diplomatic and international organization community. She paid tribute to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsis. Madam Nderitu reiterated the commitment of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and that of the whole UN leadership to fight genocide and make Never Again a reality, and to fight hate speech.
In this last month of the quarter, I held fruitful bilateral meetings with new Ambassadors of our important partner countries including Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. Our discussions focused on UN operations in the context of UN reforms and enhanced partnership, grounded on renewed and networked multilateralism to continue supporting Rwanda’s development agenda articulated with the UN agenda 2030 and the Sustainable development goals. I wish fruitful mission to the new ambassadors.
The last week of September was special with the UN General Assembly that brought together world leaders under the theme: “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people and revitalize the United Nations.” In his statement, President Kagame supported the UN SG’s common agenda with a great component on Climate action, a milestone towards the Conference of Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, October-November 2021. Alongside, the UN Food Systems Summit which featured Rwanda’s FSS pathways with the President’s remarks -- I commend, the UN SG Special Envoy Dr. Agnes Kalibata for leading the Food Systems Summit, Rwandans, UN and all Partners for their active participation at various levels to this important endeavor.
I wish to quote the UN SG’s tweet: “This week at the UNGA my message was simple: Our world has never been more threatened or divided. But I have hope. These are problems we have created, and problems we can solve. Humanity has shown that we are capable of great things when we join forces. Let's get to work”. The UN SG has underscored the need for a global vaccine plan to reach 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022, through at least doubling present production capacity. Ending the pandemic for everyone, everywhere, is the first step in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
While reflecting on the SG’s message, I am excited to share the positive news from the Ministry of Health. Rwanda has fully vaccinated 12% of its population against COVID -19, superseding the September 10% global target set by the World Health Organization (WHO), aimed at widening vaccination and helping to turn the tide against the pandemic. The country has been a model of good practice since the beginning of its vaccination program in March. I congratulate the Government and its partners for their sustained efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. Rwanda is committed to reach as many people as possible in each targeted group which gives hope to achieve global targets in the country’s COVID-19 vaccine responses set at 40% by the end of December and 70% by mid-2022. For the target population, as of 26th September, 21% have been vaccinated (1,640,974) and 26.8% (2,099,305) have received their first dose.
I and fellow UN Head of Agencies also joined hands with the Government through the SINDOHOKA campaign -- a campaign that encourages us not to baulk but continue adhering to all COVID-19 preventive measures.
The Economic Recovery Plan is also yielding results and the real GDP growth is 20.6% during Q2, 2021 up from 3.5% in Q1, 2021. However, we know that results both in Rwanda and in the world remain fragile and uncertainties and risk-informed policies and strategies and resilience are the new norms. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic and together we will win as our achievements are grounded on strong leadership, good governance and enhanced partnership and innovations, with youth and women as driving forces. The last Development Partner Coordination Group (DPCG) has reiterated the importance of our partnership to consolidate and enhance the results.
In this Newsletter, you will read stories from FAO, IOM, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UN Women, and WFP. The UN family appreciates the continued partnership and collaboration with all partners for their contribution towards achieving collective results in the development of the country and improving the lives of the people of Rwanda, leaving no one behind.
Let me end by paying tribute to our dedicated, professional and hardworking colleagues whom we unfortunately lost: Eustache, Seth and Sylvain. The UN family and I extend our deepest condolences to their families. Komera! May our continued commitment to honor their memories keep on inspiring us to live up to the standards and norms of our UN Charter.
I invite you to visit rwanda.un.org and to follow us on Twitter & FB: @UNRwanda