Remarks for UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Fodé Ndiaye on UN 75th Anniversary

Posted September 22, 2020

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Remarks for UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Fodé Ndiaye on UN 75th Anniversary and launch of Integrated National Financing Framework. 21.09.2020

·      Nyakubahwa Right Honorable Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, Our Guest of  Honour;

·      Banyakubahwa Ministers here present;

·      Nyakubahwa Mayor of Kigali City;

·      Nyakubahwa Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of Delegation of European Union to Rwanda;

·      Excellencies Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires, representatives of

       International Organizations; NGOs; CSOs; Private sector;

·      Fellow UN Head of Agencies;

·      Ladies and Gentlemen,

·      All protocol observed

Good morning! Mwaramutse!

It is a great honor and pleasure to have you all join us this morning to commemorate the United Nations 75th Anniversary and to launch the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) process.

Let me begin by warmly welcoming and appreciating the Right Honorable Prime Minister for honoring our invitation and accepting to be our Guest of Honor on this important day for the UN globally and here in Rwanda.

Dear esteemed guests, I welcome you all  to this commemoration. Your presence here is a testimony of our partnership, our friendship and your support, as well as our strong commitment to the UN Charter and principles and to international cooperation and multilateralism. Let me in particular thank my friend Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, the Head of EU delegation with whom we are co-organizing this event.

The UN Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco by 50 countries, 850 delegates with only 4 women. The Charter took effect on 24 October 1945 and the UN officially got to work. Today, UN has the gender parity at leadership level and 30% of Permanent representatives are women, including the PR of Rwanda, Mrs. Valentine Rugwabiza (whom we thank for an excellent collaboration). What a change, still to be continued! However, gender inequality remains the biggest human rights challenge of our time.

The UN Charter mandates that the UN and its member states maintain international peace and security, uphold international law, achieve "higher standards of living" for their citizens, address "economic, social, health, and related problems", and promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to racesexlanguage, or religion." As a charter and constituent treaty, its rules and obligations are binding on all members and supersede those of other treaties.

75 years after, it is time to reflect on what has been achieved and what needs to be done more, better or differently, under these special circumstances of COVID19. This health crisis has created major disruption, distrust and rising vulnerabilities, inequalities, racism, populism and nationalism. It has also shown the importance of international cooperation: no one will be safe unless all are safe.

On peace, UN has prevented the world from a third world war and other conflicts and has contributed to solving them by negotiating 172 peace settlements and making the world “nuclear free”. The peace keeping missions have sustained and continue to sustain peace agreements.

The support to decolonization and self-determination has translated into tripling the number of member states from 50 to 193, including on the African continent from 3 to 54, and increasing the balance of powers.

One milestone in the history of the UN was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was added to the charter on 10 December 1948. “Signatory states commit to fundamental rights that apply equally to every human being”, although not binding, the UDHR has influenced legal, political, and social developments on both the global and national levels, is the most translated of any document in history (524). It directly inspired the development of international human rights law, and was the first step in the formulation of the International Bill of Human Rights, which was completed in 1966 and came into force in 1976. Other aspects include the steady reduction of poverty and the eradication of the smallpox.

UN spearheaded International frameworks approval by member states leading to international social contract: the rights of women, of children of disabled people, key publications that have influenced the development debates (Human development report…), development frameworks (MDGs, socio-economic rights, Beijing Conference on gender, Cairo Conference on population and Development, Vienna Plan of Action for the LDCs…) and more importantly our blue print: the agenda 2030 and 17 sustainable goals, the Paris agreement on climate change and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Our UN operations include humanitarian assistance to people affected by natural and human-induced disasters, through provision of protection to refugees, IDPs, returnees and migrants, food and shelter to vulnerable people in the time of crisis. The conditions of many of the world’s excluded people could have been far worse were it not for the UN’s interventions.

In addition, UN specialized agencies (including the World Bank Group and IMF) activities cover almost all our daily life from trade to tourism, from finance and monetary cooperation to climate, from agriculture to labour, from posts and telecommunications to civil aviation, from education and culture to health, from meteorology to maritime action, from Industry to intellectual property.

UN is not a donor; however, based on these global commitments, through its cooperation framework at country level, it acts with government and other national actors, including CSOs, NGOs, communities and private sector and development partners in achieving national development priorities including the SDGs, for the people, the planet, prosperity, peace and with partnership.

Of course, in Rwanda, it is a fact that UN and the international community failed the country in 1994 during the genocide against the Tutsis; but UN and EU were also among the first development partners which provided humanitarian and development support to rebuild the country. Since then, together we have achieved a lot and our virtual exhibition and Ambassador Bellomo will provide some examples.

The UN is very proud to be a trusted partner of the Government and the people of Rwanda in the remarkable trajectory of transformation in all areas: in Economic transformation, in Social transformation and in Transformational Governance in the improvement to the well-being for the people of Rwanda, leaving no one behind.

Let me also commend Rwanda for being recognized as an excellent example in fighting COVID19 and UN is very proud to be engaged in that process with other development partners.

The country is showing us the light after the darkness, and the sense of solidarity based on principles enshrined in the UN Charter, through being a top troop contributor to peace keeping operations and playing an important role in the regional and global arena.

In this International Peace Day, let us recall that our first aim should always be to protect human beings and people in need. Under the responsibility to protect, states can no longer claim that atrocity is a domestic matter. Justice is important for sustaining peace. “We must confront those who would drag the world back to a violent and shameful past,”  so that UN remains a symbol of hope.

We know that there is an unfinished business and challenges are increasing, To the survey launched by the UN on “The Future We Want, the UN We Need. Re-affirming our collective commitment to Multilateralism”, one million respondents have voiced their priorities: Amid the current COVID-19 crisis, the immediate priority for most respondents is improved access to basic services – healthcare, safe water, sanitation and education, followed by greater international solidarity and increased support to those hardest hit. This includes tackling inequalities and rebuilding a more inclusive economy.

The overwhelming concerns are the climate crisis and the destruction of our natural environment. Other priorities include ensuring greater respect for human rights, settling conflicts, tackling poverty and reducing corruption. The perceptions of UN are very positive: six in 10 respondents believe the UN has made the world a better place. Looking to the future, 74% see the UN as “essential” in tackling the challenges. Over 87% of respondents believe global cooperation is vital to deal with today’s challenges, and that the pandemic has made international cooperation more urgent. However, respondents want the UN to change and innovate: to be more inclusive of the diversity of actors in the 21st century, and to become more transparent, accountable and effective.

This requires leadership, political will and solidarity. That’s why the UN SG has called on cease-fire endorsed by the security council, joint efforts to fight COVID19 and build back better. That is also the essence of the decade of action and the UN reforms on development, peace and management, to have a UN better fit purpose. In that process of transformation, UN count on the youth (we have the youngest population in history! 1.8 billion persons), its creativity, its potential, its engagement, its determination, and its positive spirit and innovations. Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow to transform our hope for our better world for all into reality hic and nunc! (here and now!). Impossible is not in the language of young boys and girls, young women and men, who are always agents of change!

Today, we are also launching the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF). Rwanda joins other 15 pioneering countries that have committed to undertaking INFF. The process helps countries finance sustainable development and the SDGs and will help to raise resources to implement the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.

We have the pleasure to likewise launch today a new UN Joint Programme specifically designed to facilitate the INFF process being inaugurated at this event. This critical aspect of partnership for the Goals reflects the strong contribution of Rwanda to SDG 17 specifically that the INFF is a whole of society and whole of government process. It also unlocks potential for critical SDGs such as SDG1 on ending poverty, SDG3 on health and wellbeing, & SDG13 on climate action.

To conclude, let me reiterate that the problems of the world today are cross-country, cross-sector, cross-generation, cross-border and interlinked; the world is more networked and interconnected; therefore, solving issues requires more than ever cooperation. “There is no other global organization with the legitimacy, convening power and normative impact as the United Nations” (UN75 Resolution). “ The capacity to be a platform where people can come together, discuss global issues and promote global solutions is the biggest strength of the U.N.,” said the UN SG. Looking ahead to the U.N.’s 100th anniversary in 2045 : “We need the same values that created the U.N. and the same values that are necessary today to be prevailing at that time.” (UN SG). Those values of equality, inclusivity, respect for human rights and for the planet, international co-operation and the value “of recognizing the need for and the richness of diversity in our societies” will still be there in 25 years.

Right Honorable Prime Minister;

Esteemed Guests,

I want to thank all the Heads of Agencies of our collective leadership and our committed staff for our collective action. You are our pride because of your commitment and your hard work. At this moment, allow me to recognise the tremendous work done by the UNDP Resident Representative, Stephen Rodriquez. Stephen has served in Rwanda for five years and in the coming month of October he will be leaving the country. Help me to appreciate him!

Right Honorable Prime Minister;


Let me end by commending the conducive environment we have in Rwanda and the excellent partnerships between Development partners, and the Government and the people of Rwanda. Let us continue to act together to get out of this pandemic and build a better country for all! We are convinced that we will make it!

I and the One UN Family wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame. Thank you for the support and continued commitment to work closely with the United Nations. We also pledge our cooperation and support in all forms to address our shared objectives grounded on our still relevant Charter but with a renewed UN and multilateralism.

Happy UN75! Long live UN and International Cooperation! 

Thank you so much for your kind attention. Merci beaucoup. Murakoze cyane! Asante san !


Abishyize hamwe ntakibananira loosely translated as nothing is impossible for people working together.