UNDP Speech at the Launch of IPG Serena, Kigali

Feb 28, 2012

Honourable Minister
Executive Secretaries of partner institutions
Development Partners
Colleagues from the UN system
-all protocols observed

It is indeed a great honor to be part of this important occasion and gathering today organized by the dynamic Project Board of the new Inclusive Participation in Governance program in collaboration with the UNDP. Today marks the launch of this new Project.
First and foremost, , I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Government of Rwanda for its leadership role in support of this initiative to develop and elaborate a comprehensive successor program in support of consolidating good governance processes.

The launch of this programme shows the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to tackle emerging issues and challenges facing the good governance agenda in the country.
I would also like to especially thank all the partners involved in the programme development process. It has been very participative and the discussions that have led to this final product have been very fruitful. We are confident that the process of exchanging and working together will continue in the implementation phase. I cannot forget to express my appreciation to the Embassy of Belgium who, in line with the Division of Labor agreed between the Government of Rwanda and Development partners, has chosen to support the promotion of good governance through UNDP as an active partner in this sector.

Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is critical for UNDP as the leading development agency of the United Nations, to emphasize that there is nothing more important than supporting countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. While it is true that democratic governance is not part of the system of indicators the international community has agreed upon to monitor progress of the MDGs, it is important to remember that the Millennium Declaration presents a forceful argument for the inclusion of democracy and good governance processes and institutions as well as internationally recognized principles of human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Rwanda has of recent proven that it is likely to be one of the countries in Africa who will do best in the final review of MDGs. The EDPRS 2 launch showed significant process on several development indicators and these successes should also be seen in light of the Government of Rwanda’s commitment to enhancing good governance and accountability within the State. For UNDP good governance is seen as an important vehicle for our ability to deliver on poverty reduction in a sustainable and equitable manner, in addition to democratic governance being an important end in itself.

Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

UNDP at the global level supports national authorities in strengthening civic engagement at the local, regional and national levels. Mechanisms and opportunities for this engagement include electoral laws, institutions and processes, mobilization channels [such as political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs)], and communications channels including through support to independent media development.

The programme that was just presented to you by my colleague constitutes UNDP’s support to fostering inclusive participation in Rwanda. As mentioned in the beginning, the programme development process has been highly participatory and consultative. The discussion and the final prioritization of focus areas address challenging areas and gaps that have been identified though governance assessment, including the Joint Governance Assessment and the Universal Periodic Review.

We are hopeful that the programme will make progress in some critical areas, including media reform, increasingly linking governance assessments to dialogue processes and political participation and accountability of institutions linked to political participation and citizen representation.

Finally, I would like to commend Project Board under the chairmanship of Prof. Shyaka (Rwanda Governance Board) for organizing this important launch of the the project.

Once again, I would like to express my appreciation for the constructive partnership with the participating institutions in the IPG programme. We are hopeful that the programme will be an arena for continued exchange of experiences that will improve synergies between interventions.

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