Representatives of UN agencies in Rwanda and top government officials convened for a high-level meeting to reflect on the body’s mission of keeping global peace and security, 75 years after the Second World War.
The UN marked its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts.
At the event, Ngirente highlighted the urgent need for international cooperation to address present and future global crises.
“We are celebrating this anniversary during the challenging times of Covid-19. And one of the key lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic is the importance of international cooperation and solidarity to overcome any global crisis,” he said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that global risks are interconnected. Therefore, strong and committed institutions are crucial in solving these interlinked challenges.”
“Without international cooperation and global solidarity, we cannot confront the challenges of our time and those coming tomorrow. These common threats will require us to come together as nations in order to find sustainable and inclusive solutions.”
The ceremony in Kigali was co-organized by One UN Rwanda and the European Union. It was segmented by moments of silence to commemorate lives lost during UN peacekeeping operations.
UN Resident Coordinator for Rwanda, Fode Ndiaye reiterated that global cooperation will be key to overcoming multifaceted damages caused by Covid-19.
“This health crisis has created major distraction, distrust, rising vulnerabilities, inequalities, racism, populism and nationalism. But it also has shown the importance of international cooperation. No one will be safe unless all are safe,” Ndiaye said.
The year 2020 theme was “The Future we want, the UN We need; reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.
Ndiaye suggested that responding to the pandemic collectively reflects the organization’s commitment to promote multilateralism as reaffirmed by a global survey framing the UN towards its centenary in 2045.
To meet priorities voiced by one million responders including access to basic services such as healthcare, sanitation and education, great international solidarity will be key, according to the survey.
“Over 87 percent believe global cooperation is vital to deal with today’s challenges and the pandemic has made international cooperation more urgent forever,” Ndiaye said.
On peace, he stated the UN has prevented the world from a third world war by negotiating 172 peace settlements and making the world nuclear free.
Speaking on the shortfalls, Ndiaye conceded UN’s failure to prevent the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“In Rwanda, it is a fact that the UN and the international community failed the country in 1994 to prevent the genocide against the Tutsi,” he stated, adding, however, that the body acted rapidly to provide humanitarian and development support to rebuild the country.
Nonetheless, the UN’s Global Peace Index for 2020 indicated that the world was more peaceful a decade ago than now.
New initiative launched
The UN 75th anniversary ceremony also saw an official launch of the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) aimed at supporting particularly the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).
Prime Minister Ngirente said the initiative “will strengthen our capacities to mobilise resources required for the implementation of our national priorities and the 2030 Agenda.”
By this launch, Rwanda becomes one of the first 17 nations worldwide to be part of a new initiative for countries to identify areas for strengthening their management of financing for the SDGs with Integrated Financing Solutions.