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Rwanda calls for reforms at the UN
October 12, 2017, 4:14 pm

Addressing the 72 session of the United Nations General Assembly last week, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said planned reforms at the United Nations were needed to improve the efficiency of the international organization and make it more appropriate to the realities of a changing world.

The president said that despite its relevance and competence in handling some situations, there were clear indications that the UN was not meeting the needs and expectations of many of its member states.

He called on member states to lend their full support to reform efforts by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make the organization more effective and transformational. “The reforms must not be just a one-off event but rather a mindset of constantly striving to improve performance,” said Mr. Kagame.

With an annual budget that runs in billions of dollars and a clear demand for the body's input in the global development agenda, the President said there is need to improve performance, delivery and accountability at the UN.

"We have the tools and the mandates to address global challenges, from climate change, to peace-building, human equality and development. Where we fall short, is in getting things done," Mr. Kagame said.

"Every year, the UN channels billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance. The UN provides a platform for major international agreements. The United Nations also sets the global agenda on key policy issues, from development, to women's rights. These are signs of an organization that is both relevant, and, in many cases, competent. And yet there is a sense that the UN is not meeting our needs and expectations," he said.

The deficit of trust and accountability in the international system must be overcome, said the President. “To be truly effective at delivering a ‘decent life for all’, the United Nations must treat all the people it serves with impartiality and respect, and it must be a good steward of the funds entrusted to it. Abuse and waste are therefore not a mere public relations problem, but an existential challenge which must be tackled head-on," he added.

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