It has been five years since I assumed the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Rwanda. Since July 2017, I have had the privilege to lead the UN team to implement the UN Reform and reposition the UN development system (UNDS), putting in place a full-fledge Resident Coordinator Office and the UNCT to coordinate its support strategically.
Collectively as a team, the UN work has delivered more effectively and efficiently on the United Nations Development Assistance Plan 2018-2023 (UNDAP II) and now our revised Cooperation Framework up to 2024, which aligns well with the National Strategy for Transformation 2017-2024 (NST1) and the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 of the UN. With this, it is a pleasure to have been part of the tremendous results the country has registered with development partners, the private sector, NGOs, the Civil Society, and the people of Rwanda.
Like the rest of the world, Rwanda has endured challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic, significantly impacting all sectors. I'm glad the UN team elaborated a joint program to assist the Government's Socio-Economic Response and Recovery plan.
The program strongly focuses on gender, vulnerable people, and human rights and employs the Leave No One Behind principle. However, to deliver on the plan, we need a strengthened partnership and coordinated support with the Government and all partners, and I believe we have laid the groundwork for this.
This quarter, Rwanda hosted the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM), where more than 4,000 delegates, including Heads of Government, Vice Presidents and Prime Ministers, attended.
From the UN side, we hosted the President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid (PGA) and the UN Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Ms. Amina Mohammed and other Heads of Agency. Both the PGA and DSG appreciated the work done by the leadership and the people of Rwanda for not only CHOGM but progress in the development of the country. I join everyone in commending the Government of Rwanda for all the efforts put into the well-organized and successful CHOGM.
Rwanda has made good and steady progress, before CHOGM, Rwanda organized the World Telecommunication Development Conference and Broadband Commission and the country stands as a global example when development is given a focus. The UN adjusted the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework to align to do more and better to contribute to the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and Agenda 2030. The great partnership, cooperation, collaboration, resilience, and hard work have produced transformational results. I and the UN are proud to be part of this and believe that only a conducive environment to deliver programs with a continuous focus on inclusive, sustainable, green and resilient development can continue to move the country forward.
As I end my tenure in Rwanda, I commend our collective UN leadership, the dedication of UN colleagues and our esteemed partners. I thank our donors for their trust by entering into strategic partnerships and synergies and providing resources; most importantly, I acknowledge the trusted cooperation with the Government and other national stakeholders (CSOS and private sector) and our collective efforts have yielded tangible results for all the people. Together, we stand stronger and build forward better.
I wish you a pleasant reading of this UN Rwanda 2nd Quarter Newsletter (April, May, and June 2022). It contains exciting stories from WFPs' work with refugees in Rwanda, the excitement of Maurice Kwizera serving as a UN Volunteer with the UNV in Rusizi, Early Childhood Development centres increasing mothers' productivity in Nyaruguru district by UN Women, sponsoring innovative business projects to promote local development and environment protection by IOM, delegates from Malawi and Ethiopia acquire lessons from Rwanda's digital transformation by UNCDF, Children want to be #zerohunger heroes by FAO, long-standing commitment to saving lives by the WHO, Improving survival and wellbeing of newborns in Rwanda by UNICEF, Getting their future back: how new family planning methods are helping teenage mothers in Rwanda by UNFPA, and AfCFTA could be the Marshall Plan for the African Economic Recovery by ECA.
Beyond the few stories and numbers we publish quarterly, there is a fundamental transformation happening in people's lives, communities, institutions, and the general journey of the country towards betterment.
It has been a privilege for me to serve in this beautiful country, the land of a thousand hills, and for the people of Rwanda.