Kagame tells World: without gender equality and internet, SDGs remain a dream
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has told the World that if the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved, inclusive participation is the key.
Addressing the 71st UN General Assembly on requirements the world needs to meet the Sustainable Development and climate change, Kagame said that: “The progress of every country is closely linked to the progress of every other, and we all have a role to play.”
For President Kagame, “The world should build from lessons learnt and be inclusive, especially on women.”
Rwanda is leading the world in HeForShe campaign that promotes gender equality. The country has 150,000 signatures so far ahead of US with 40,000 signatures. The target is to reach 500,000 signatures next year.
“I am proud to be a HeForShe and urge others to support this important campaign,” Kagame challenged the General Assembly.
The country leads the world in gender equality with largest number of women in parliament.
For Rwanda to be at the top, President Kagame told the General Assembly, “If women are not reaching their potential, then none of us are.”
On internet as a crucial component to achieve SDGs, Kagame said: “Everyone in the world needs to have access to high speed internet.”
The President is a co-chair of UN Broadband Commission along with UNESCO and ITU.
The president further highlighted other subjects including the international relations and mutual respects between countries.
For Kagame, “The way we relate to each other in the international community has to begin to change as well.”
From a request to the world to support peace and security, a component where Rwanda is doing well given its position in top ten among peace keeping contributing countries, Kagame talked about refugee matters.
He called for consistency and compassion in dealing with the growing global refugee crisis.
“The issues of migration and refugees should be continuously addressed and not only when wealthier nations are affected.”
Rwanda hosts about 200,000 refugees from neighboring countries alone.
The United Nations held special sessions to tackle the issue of refugees despite what observers described as double standards from the wealthier nations.
Earlier on the sidelines of the assembly the Director of OXFAM International Winnie Byanyima had exposed a similar message calling on the world’s wealthiest nations to do more regarding the issue of refugees.
“The top five nations in the world only accept five percent of the world’s refugees and they can do much better,” she said.
All these efforts however would be vain if environment is not taken into consideration.
The president took an opportunity to appeal to the world to join Rwanda in amendment of Montreal protocol which will phase down the harmful greenhouse gases.
The amendment will be decided during the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, known as MOP28 in Kigali next month.
Over 1000 delegates are expected in the meeting. “Rwanda will continue to play its part. We have gotten many things right but there is no doubt that we could be achieving even more,” Kagame said.
“If we keep the people for whom we are fighting on the front of our mind there is no reason why we cannot achieve everything we have committed to,” the President added.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has been chosen to host the SDGs Centre of Excellence for Africa.