President Paul Kagame, in his address to the 76th UN General Assembly(UNGA) has commended global solidarity in fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, despite some shortfalls.
In his speech at the United Nations General assembly that is semi virtually going on in New York, the President said that COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the world but, “alongside unfortunate examples of inequality, we have also seen evidence of global solidarity and fairness, exemplifying the best values of our organization.”
As a matter of example, the president mentioned COVAX, a vaccination initiative where developed countries contribute vaccines for African countries which are not yet able to manufacture own vaccines and to acquire all the needed doses.
According to the President, without COVAX, “Africa’s vaccine deficit would be even more severe.”
The president however said: “We can and must do more to speed up vaccine distribution in Africa. Doing so benefits the entire world.”
Indeed, Africa is still wanting in terms of vaccination against COVID-19.
In Rwanda, the vaccine rate has reached 10% according to World Health Organization(WHO).
Kagame further commended efforts of various players to support Africa’s initiatives to manufacture vaccines locally.
Rwanda is one of the candidates which are expected to start manufacturing of vaccines soon.
“We must harness this positive momentum to build long-term pandemic resilience where it is needed most,” Kagame said.
In his remarks, the president also expressed his concern that the world has failed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
“In fairness, we were behind the schedule with SDGs even before the pandemic hit. But there is now an increased attention in figuring out how to refocus and catch up,” Kagame said.
He said the world should put more political commitment on achieving SDGs, especially in regard to climate change mitigation.
“We cannot afford for the results of COP-26 in November to be inconclusive or divisive,” Kagame said.
“We also need to re-emphasize the importance of citizen-centered governance and accountability.”
For the president, by doing so, governments guarantee citizens’ well being and material progress on top of security, stability and confidence in the future.
President of a country that was, three decades ago, victim of heinous ideology of the Genocide against Tutsi that cost lives to more than one million innocent lives, Kagame was straight to condemn the Genocide, terrorism and other crimes that seek to kill people.
Kagame called upon member countries to support UN Secretary General Action Plan in regard to fighting COVID-19 pandemic, if the world is to avoid a probable breakaway in the multilateral system in the face of the pandemic.
The breakaway, he said, would cause disastrous consequences.
“Whether we are able to convene physically for the 77th General Assembly in 2022, or for the Secretary General proposed Summit pf the Future, depends on the action we all take in the coming months,” Kagame concluded his speech while saying.
“With determination and focus, it can be achieved.”