UNDP Administrator Helen Clark arrives in Rwanda

Oct 26, 2012

The United Nations Development Programme’s Administrator, Helen Clark, has arrived in Rwanda for her first three day official visit.

Helen Clark’s visit takes place at a time when Rwanda is preparing to host for the first time the annual African Economic Conference, which is co-organized by UNDP, AfDB, and ECA. The conference in which Helen Clark will participate will take place from October 30th- November 2nd, and will gather hundreds of leaders and scholars from all over the world to debate on Africa’s prospects to sustainable and inclusive growth in the context of the persisting international economic crisis. The UNDP Administrator’s visit also prov ides an opportunity for her to take stock of the progress made in Rwanda towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Helen Clark will exchange views with the national leadership on the way forward in achieving the MDGs and Vision 2020. She will review also progress of the development of the United Nations Development Assistance Programme (UNDAP) and UNDP programmes in Rwanda.

During her visit, the Administrator will meet with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, women parliamentarians, women business leaders, civil society representatives, and other development partners.
On Sunday October 28th, 2012, Helen Clark visited the Genocide Memorial Site of Gisozi and was horrified at the evidence on display of the Genocide which took place in Rwanda 18 years ago. She said that this is a powerful reminder of what happened during one of the most terrible genocides in human history. “We must never forget what’s happened, and the memorial site is a part of insuring that this never happens again” Helen Clark said.
Ms. Clark also remembered the Cambodia and Auschwitz Memorial Sites, which she has visited previously “These places invoke the horror that societies can turn on themselves. Each {of these sites} has its own particular features, but fundamentally it is about innocent people being slaughtered because they were thought to be different”.

Helen Clark is the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the former leader of the Labour Party in New Zealand. She took function as Administrator of UNDP since April 2009. Helen Clark’s position is the third highest within the UN, and she is the first woman to hold it. She also is the Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

Helen Clark will hold a press conference on Tuesday October 30th, at Serena Hotel, from 17.30-18.15, before she leaves Rwanda, accompanied by the Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Mr. Tegegnework Gettu, and the Resident Coordinator of the One UN-Rwanda and Resident Representative of UNDP, Mr. Lamin Manneh. To attend the press Conference, do not forget to bring your accredited media card. Serena’s Receptionists will direct you to the Press Conference Room.

For Press Inquiries and additional information, please contact:

Nausicaa Habimana Kantengwa, UNDP-Rwanda Communication Analyst - Mobile phone: +250 (0) 78 222 00 62  e-mail: nausicaa.kantengwa@undp.org;  or

Nathalie Blaquière, One UN Communications Specialist - Mobile: +250 (0) 78 222 00 62 /email: nathalie.blaquiere@one.un.org

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