Our Perspective

      • Dignity and human rights lie at the heart of our work

        07 Apr 2014

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Today, the world is joining Rwanda, now a thriving country, to mark the twentieth commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Sadly, the United Nations system and the world couldn’t stop the events unfolding on the ground. Worse, the United Nations could not even save many of its national staff. The consequences of failing to heed the warning signs of the genocide are forever engraved in our minds.  The United Nations and the international system are better prepared to anticipate, prevent, respond to crises and protect their staff. In addition, the world now has important mechanisms to end impunity, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, large scale human tragedies are still happening. As we speak, millions are being affected in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, for instance. This is one the reason why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon launched the “Rights up Front” Action Plan.  In essence, the Rights up Front Action Plan seeks to strengthen the United Nations’ ability to prevent large-scale violations of human rights, particularly in conflict situations. The plan is framed by several guiding concepts: First, Read More

      • International Day of Peace / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        21 Sep 2013

        The international community celebrated on September 21st 2013 the “International Day of Peace, 2013”, with the theme “Education for Peace”. This year’s celebrations took place against the backdrop of continuing violence in countries like Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Colombia, Egypt, Central African Republic or renewed fighting in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Philippines, which have resulted in several millions of people fleeing their homes and thousands being killed in unimaginable brutal ways. Senseless and sometimes random terrorist attacks, that are often planned to inflict maximum casualties among innocent people, also constitute a significant threat to personal and national security across the world. The latter is vividly illustrated by the one more terrorist attack that Kenya suffered recently at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, which has resulted in over 70 deaths, many of them innocent women and children. This year’s celebration of the International Day of Peace, therefore, sends a sharp reminder that the global community has to be not only aware of the necessity of peace but also the imperative for active engagement in practices and efforts for conflict prevention and peace building. In most cases, attaining durable stability or ensuring conflict prevention cannot be done passively Read More

      • Upholding the principles of democracy | Lamin M. Manneh

        15 Sep 2013

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        Today, the international community celebrates the “International of Democracy, 2013”, with the theme “Strengthening voices for Democracy”. The purpose of commemorating this day is to raise public awareness, as well as promote and uphold the principles of democracy.

        Today, the international community celebrates the “International of Democracy, 2013”, with the theme “Strengthening voices for Democracy”. The purpose of commemorating this day is to raise public awareness, as well as promote and uphold the principles of democracy.  The theme for this year aims to raise the importance of people’s voices, both expressed directly and through their elected representatives in the governance of their countries. The post-2015 consultations, indeed affirm the centrality of empowerment and participation in tackling growing inequalities, promoting social inclusion and preventing conflicts. The million voices represented in the UN’s MY World survey overwhelmingly call for open and responsive government, placing this in the top three goals they seek in a future development agenda.  On this International Day of Democracy, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urges leaders to hear, respect and respond appropriately to the voices of the people, whether expressed directly or through elected representatives: “I call on the world’s citizens to think about how they can use their voice to not only take control of their destiny, but to translate their desires and the desires of others into a better future for all”. Rwanda has made significant strides in putting in place the relevant legal framework Read More