UNITED NATIONS POPULATION INFORMATION NETWORK (POPIN)
UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

94-09-09: Statement of Rwanda, H.E. Mazimhaka Patrick

ISO: RWA

 

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The electronic preparation of this document has been done by the

Population Information Network(POPIN) of the United Nations Population

Division in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme

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 AS WRITTEN



RWANDA



STATEMENT

BY

H.E. MAZIMHAKA PATECK

MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORTS

AND COOPERATIVES OF RWANDA

AT THE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT

5 -13 SEPTEMBER 1994 .



 - MR. PRESIDENT, Mme SECRETARY GENERAL

 - DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES

 - LADIES AND GENTLEMEN .



 1. MY DELEGATION WHICH REPRESENTS THE BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT SET UP ON

19th JULY 1994, AND THE PEOPLE OF RWANDA, FEELS PRIVILEGED TO BE AT THIS

CONFERENCE, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND TO BE HELD SINCE THE NEW GOVERNMENT

TOOK OVER RESPONSIBILITY IN KIGALI .



 2. THE RWANDESE DELEGATION WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS SATISFACTION AND

INDEED COMMENDS THE ORGANIZERS OF THIS CONFERENCE FOR A JOB BOTH

TECHNICALLY AND ORGANIZATIONALLY WELL DONE, WISHES TO THANK THE

GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT FOR HAVING HOSTED

THE CONFERENCE AND WISHES TO EXPRESS THE RWANDESE PEOPLES GRATITUDE TO

THE UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND ( UNFPA ) FOR ITS FINANCIAL

ASSISTANCE WHICH HAS ENABLED THE GOVERNMENT TO SEND A DELEGATION TO THIS

CONFERENCE .



 3. MY DELEGATION WISHES TO REAFFIRM OUR COUNTRY'S FULL COGNIZANCE OF

THE PRINCIPLES AND FUNDAMENTAL POSITIONS OF INTENTS AND PURPOSES WHICH

HAVE GUIDED THE PREPARATION LEADING TO THIS CONFERENCE . WE SHALL

ENDEAVOR TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEMES EMERGING FROM THE DELIBERATIONS ON

POPULATION, SUSTAINED ECONOMIC GROWTH , SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE

INTER RELATEDNESS OF THESE ISSUES.



 4. MY DELEGATION ALSO RECOGNIZES THE MAJOR EXPRESSIONS OF THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENT AND RESOLVE PREVIOUSLY MADE ON MATTERS RELATING

TO POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT.



 5. THE PRINCIPLES, OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES WHICH UNDERLIE MY

COUNTRY'S PREOCCUPATION WITH POPULATION MATTERS ARE SPELT OUT IN ANOTHER

DOCUMENT INTITLED "NATIONAL REPORT ON POPULATION" WHICH IS BEING

DISTRIBUTED BY THE CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT. THESE NEED NOT TO BE REPEATED

HERE.



 6. WHEREAS MY DELEGATION WISHES TO REGISTER ITS SUPPORT FOR, AND

COMMITMENT TO IMPLEMENTING THE MEDIUM AND LONG TERM OBJECTIVES OF

POPULATION DEVELOPMENT AS ALREADY REFERRED TO ABOVE, I WISH ALSO TO

BRING TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS CONFERENCE AND INDEED TO THE ATTENTION OF

ALL OUR PARTNERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF RWANDA, A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT

CONSTRAIN OUR PRESENT CAPACITY TO DEVELOP, LET ALONE IMPLEMENT, A

MEANINGFUL NATIONAL POPULATION ACTION PLAN.



 7. FIRST, A PLANNED MASS GENOCIDE WAS CARRIED OUT IN RWANDA BY THE

FORMER PRESIDENTS POLITICAL PARTY, ITS MILITIA AND THE ARMED FORCES.

OVER 1 MILLION PEOPLE WERE KILLED BETWEEN APRIL AND JULY, THAT IS CLOSE

TO 20% OF THE RESIDENT POPULATION OF RWANDA. THE GENOCIDE, WHICH WAS

PRIMARILY INTENDED TO EXTERMINATE TUTSIS, DID NOT SPARE CHILDREN,

YOUTHS, WOMEN AND MEN OF ALL AGES . IT WAS ACCOMPANIED BY WHOLESALE

MASSACRE OF OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBERS AND MOST OF THE PROFESSIONALS.

DEMOGRAPHIC PRESSURE IS NOT NEW TO RWANDA AND SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS,

INCLUDING COLONIAL AUTHORITIES HAVE RESPONDED TO THIS CHALLENGE

BASICALLY BY OFF-LOADING THE EXCESS POPULATION ON NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.

THUS, IT WAS BELGIAN POLICY TO ENTICE OR COERCE BANYARWANDA TO EMIGRATE

TO CONGO, UGANDA, TANZANIA AS MINE AND AGRICULTURAL WORKERS.



 POST-INDEPENDENCE GOVERNMENTS CONTINUED THE SAME POLICY BUT ADDED THE

DIMENSION OF FORCED EXILE. AS WE ARE ALL AWARE, THESE POLICIES HAVE NOT

SERVED TO STABILIZE THE POPULATION IN RWANDA. THEY HAVE ON THE CONTRARY

LED TO SERIOUS DE STABILIZATION OF RWANDA AND NOW THREATEN THE

NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA CAN BE SEEN BOTH AS A

POLITICAL RESPONSE TO CHALLENGES TO ESTABLISHED ORDER AND AS YET ANOTHER

ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE DEMOGRAPHICS TO SERVE POLITICAL ENDS . ORDINARY

PEOPLE WERE PERSUADED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MASSACRE ALONG CLEARLY

DEFINABLE LINES.



 1) INTENSIVE ANTI-TUTSI PROPAGANDA CONVINCED SOME,

 2) INTIMIDATION AND KILLINGS OF THOSE WHO REFUSED TO TAKE PART

PERSUADED OTHERS, AND

 3) A SMALL NUMBER WAS CONVINCED THAT THEY COULD INHERIT THE PROPERTY OF

THOSE THEY HAVE KILLED.THIS HAD HAPPENED AT EVERY ROUND OF MASSACRES IN

1959, 1961 , 1964 ,1966, 1973.



 WE THUS RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO EMBARK ON DEVELOPMENT POLICIES THAT WILL

PROMOTE POPULATION STABILIZATION. OUR NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION WILL FOCUS

ON IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THE POPULATION THROUGH BASIC EDUCATION,

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SERVICES, EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN ALL SPHERES OF

NATIONAL LIFE ,AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND FACILITIES RELATED TO

PLANNED PARENTHOOD. HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF THE RECENT GENOCIDE, THE

POPULATION STRUCTURE OF RWANDA HAS CHANGED SO MUCH THAT THE COUNTRY NOW

FINDS ITSELF WITHOUT VALID ,RELIABLE ,TIMELY AND CULTURALLY RELEVANT

POPULATION DATA WHICH IS NEEDED TO FORM THE BASIS FOR POLICY AND PROGRAM

DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION ,MONITORING AND EVALUATION.



 THERE IS AN URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS THIS CONSTRAINT BEFORE ANY ATTEMPT

TO DEFINE A POPULATION ACTION PLAN FOR RWANDA COULD BE MEANINGFUL . WE

NEED FINANCIAL AND EXPERT ASSISTANCE TO FILL THIS GAP.



 SECOND, THE POLITICAL, INSTITUTIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT IN

RWANDA HAS CHANGED SO MUCH IN THE LAST THREE YEARS AND NULL CONTINUE TO

DO SO AS THE NEW GOVERNMENT EMBARKS ON ITS ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION

PROGRAM, THAT PREVIOUSLY DESIGNED POPULATION SUPPORT PROGRAMS AND

PROJECTS MAY NO LONGER BE, BY AND LARGE, IN CONCORDANCE WITH THE PRESENT

AND NEAR TERM REALITIES AS WELL AS DEMANDS ON DEVELOPMENT IN THE

COUNTRY. CONTINUED IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH PROGRAMS PREVIOUSLY DESIGNED

COULD NOT LEAD TO OPTIMAL RETURNS FROM THE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES

THAT THEIR BUDGETS PROVIDE FOR.



 THIRD, WE SEE POPULATION BOTH AS A RESOURCE, IN THE SENSE OF A HUMAN

RESOURCE FOR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES ON ONE HAND ,AND AS A CONSUMER

SECTOR OF GOODS AND SERVICES AND USER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, ON THE OTHER,

THE LATTER THE NATION HAS TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE POPULATION.



 ONE OF THE PRESSING ISSUES THE COUNTRY HAS TO FIND A SOLUTION FOR IS

THE REPATRIATION AND INTEGRATION OF UP TO 2

MILLION REFUGEES WHO ARE NOW IN NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SOME HAVE BEEN OUT

OF THE COUNTRY FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS.



 OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD TRY, BY ALL MEANS, TO ATTRACT QUALIFIED PERSONNEL

TO THE COUNTRY TO PROVIDE THE FULL RANGE OF SEMI AND SKILLED TECHNICAL,

PROFESSIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SKILLS SO MUCH NEEDED AFTER THE RECENT

MASS GENOCIDE AND POPULATION EXODUS.



 WE APPEAL TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ,UN AGENCIES AND NGO'S WITH

EXISTING CAPACITY IN THE FIELD OF REPATRIATION OF NATIONAL TALENTS TO

HELP RWANDA AS A MATTER OF URGENCY



 8. REGARDING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE COUNTRY'S POPULATION ON THE

COUNTRY'S LAND RESOURCES AND RELATED SERVICES WE BELIEVE THIS SHOULD BE

ADDRESSED HAND IN HAND WITH THE ISSUE OF POPULATION STABILIZATION.



 9. THE ISSUES RAISED ABOVE CALL FOR, IN OUR VIEW, THE FOLLOWING URGENT

MEASURES;



 (i) REHABILITATION OF THE RWANDESE SOCIETY. THE LOSS OF ONE OUT OF

EVERY SEVEN PEOPLE IN RWANDA HAS LEFT A DEVASTATED POPULATION. ORPHANS

,WIDOWS, WIDOWERS WHO ESCAPED DEATH BUT WITNESSED THE CARNAGE ARE

WALKING AROUND IN A TRANCE. FAMILIES AND FRIENDS HAVE BEEN TORN ASUNDER

IN THE ORGY OF ETHNIC HATRED. SPECIAL CARE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS IS

NEEDED AND AT PRESENT, THE COUNTRY HAS NO CAPACITY TO HANDLE THOSE CASES

IN SUCH LARGE NUMBERS. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC WORSE THAN CHOLERA. THROUGH

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION POLICIES THAT WILL HINGE ON JUSTICE FOR ALL TO

REBUILD OUR SOCIETY ON THE FOUNDATION OF BASIC RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY AND THE

RULE OF LAW.



 (ii) A COMPREHENSIVE POPULATION SECTOR REVIEW, WHICH SHOULD INCLUDE

SAMPLE SURVEYS AND IN WHICH WE ENCOURAGE DONORS TO THE RWANDAN

POPULATION AND HEALTH SECTORS TO PARTICIPATE



 (iii) A REVIEW OF EXISTING PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS IN THE RWANDAN

POPULATION AND HEALTH SECTORS, WITH A VIEW TO REPROGRAMMING THE

UTILIZATION OF THE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES BUDGETED THEREIN;



 (iv) A REVIEW AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE INSTITUTIONS PREVIOUSLY SET UP

IN RWANDA, SOME WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS REFERRED

TO ABOVE, WITH A VIEW TO MAKING THEM MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE PRESENT AND

FUTURE NEEDS OF THE POPULATION SECTOR;



 (v) A CONCERTED EFFORT AND SUPPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA FROM THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WITH FINANCIAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE TO

FACILITATE THE RETURN OF NATIONALS. POLITICAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT IN RWANDA HINGES ON ITS ABILITY TO GUARANTEE THE RIGHT TO

CITIZENSHIP AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL.



 (vi) AND DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE DONOR COMMUNITY, BASED

ON PROPOSED POPULATION SECTOR REVIEW AND EXISTING PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS

ON THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A FUTURE POPULATION ACTION PLAN.



 10. LASTLY, MR. PRESIDENT, WE WISH TO THANK ALL THE AGENCIES

,BILATERAL, MULTILATERAL, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ( NGO'S ) AND OTHERS WHICH

CONTINUE TO OFFER FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT RWANDESE

POPULATION AND HEALTH PROGRAMS.



 MEMBERS OF MY DELEGATION AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING DISCUSSIONS WITH

YOU CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHOSE ORGANIZATIONS, ARE

OR PLAN TO BE, INVOLVED IN MY COUNTRY'S POPULATION SECTOR. I LOOK

FORWARD TO START THE DISCUSSIONS HERE IN CAIRO AND TO CONTINUING THEM

WITH YOU TOGETHER WITH MY OTHER COLLEAGUES IN GOVERNMENT WHEN YOU NEXT

VISIT RWANDA, WHICH I HOPE WILL BE SOON.



 THANK YOU VERY MUCH


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