H.E. PAUL KAGAME,
at theWorld Summit on Sustainable Development
. Your Excellency President Thabo Mbeki,
Allow me on behalf of the People and Government of the Republic of Rwanda and on my own behalf, to express our appreciation to the People and Government of the Republic of South Africa for hosting this important Summit, and for the warmth and generosity with which my delegation and I have been received in Johannesburg.
Let me also take this opportunity to commend the dedication and commitment
with the United Nations' organs have organised this Summit.
Indeed, as we review the past decade's accomplishments since Rio in 1992, we have to conclude unfortunately that environmental degradation remains a serious threat to our planet, as demonstrated by, continued loss of biodiversity, desertification, sharp climate change, and global warming. Alternative sources of energy particularly in poor countries remain scarce leading to serious deforestation, while poverty and ignorance continue to affect millions and millions especially in the developing world.
Turning now to my Country, as you may be aware, just two years after Rio, Rwanda fell victim to the 1994 Genocide in which over 1 million people were killed. As a consequence, the Rwandan social fabric and the entire economy were devastated.
These tragic events notwithstanding, we attach great importance to the
Rio Principles; we are fully committed to implementing Agenda 21 and Post-Rio
developmental goals, including those contained in the Millennium declaration
and the Beijing Platform for Action. In this context, Rwanda has, among
In addition to actively supporting international conventions, we have had to meet our specific challenges. For example, we have had to mend our social fabric, to rebuild and to continue consolidating unity and reconciliation, to uphold human rights, and to promote governance, democracy and the rule of law. We have established, in most of these cases, specific participatory mechanisms and institutions to address these key national challenges and issues. We are convinced that we are on the right path, and our modest achievements indicate this.
The Johannesburg Summit constitutes a unique opportunity for rededicating
ourselves to the Rio Principles and Agenda. Let us also be mindful of the
contemporary context in which we make this recommitment: that of globalisation.
As we all know, globalisation presents us with enormous
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before we leave Johannesburg, let us develop a greater sense and desire of inclusiveness and responsiveness to the needs of the World's citizenry. Only then can we turn the agenda of human development from a distant wish into a concrete reality. The Johannesburg Summit offers an opportunity for adopting a realistic action plan towards this noble mission.
I thank all of you for your attention.