Friday, 24 May 2013

World Bank, UN chiefs hail Rwanda’s gender policies


UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon (L) and World Bank president Dr. Jim Yong Kim (R), after meeting President Kagame in Kigali yesterday.
UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon and World Bank president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, have hailed Rwanda’s commitment to end Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The two officials made the remarks yesterday after holding talks with President Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

It was the first time the heads of both institutions travelled together for a common purpose.

Jim said that during his visit, he was impressed by two best practices: a housing project for disabled ex-combatants who include former FDLR militia and the government’s commitment in fighting GBV.

“I have never seen a country approach the issue of Gender based violence as you have. Rwanda demonstrates the best example in women empowerment,” he said.

“I appreciate your commitment to your people. You are a great inspiration to me,” he said, pledging to continue working with the UN. “I hope many African countries will emulate Rwanda.”

On his part, Ban praised the country’s progress and the leadership of President Kagame.

“I have admiration for President Kagame for his leadership and commitment, not only in the region, but in making his people prosperous,’” he noted.

The duo arrived in Rwanda yesterday on a regional tour which has also taken them to Mozambique and DRC. They will then head to Uganda and Ethiopia.

The tour is aimed at coordinating their efforts in building peace and stability in Africa, especially in the Great Lakes Region and reinforcing partnerships between the United Nations and the World Bank towards Africa’s development.

They toured a project for disabled demobilised soldiers in Nyarugunga, Kigali and paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at Gisozi Memorial Centre.

They also toured Isange One Stop Centre which provides response, care and support to GBV victims, before laying a foundation stone for the Centre of Excellence for the fight against violence against girls and women in conflict situations at the Headquarters of the Rwandan National Police.

The centre is an initiative of security organs from thirteen countries in Africa to respond to the global fight to end violence against women and girls.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone,  the UN boss said the new centre will coordinate efforts of Africa’s army and police officers to fight against gender based violence which constitutes a new hope for women and girls still suffering in the continent’s conflict-torn regions.

“This Centre will enhance cooperation between security institutions across Africa,” Ban said. “It will strengthen mechanisms and policies to prioritise prevention and address violence against women and children, especially in conflict.”

The ceremony was attended by Rwanda’s Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana, Minister for Family and Gender Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, and Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fasil Harerimana.

Citing the one-stop centres where victims and survivors can receive free legal and medical assistance and counselling, community policing, gender desks in the National Police and Defence Forces, and how the country remains Africa’s leading contributor of female police officers to the United Nations peacekeeping missions, Ban concluded that Rwandans “have made a profound difference.”

Rwanda has been registering GBV cases and helping those who are affected through initiatives to reach out to the victims.

About 69 per cent of the GBV victims who are received at the Kacyiru Police Hospital-based Isange One Stop Centre which assists people affected by GBV are women.

At least 5,216 GBV cases have so far been registered at the centre since July, 2009.

With the new centre of excellence against GBV, Rwanda is set to host a continental Secretariat to coordinate efforts by police and army officers to protect women and girls against violence.

Ban and Jim are expected to make a joint pronouncement on their support to Rwanda and the region as a whole and offer tangible, short and medium term financial and technical assistance for the development aspects.


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