By Ivan R. Mugisha


Louise Mushikiwabo (R) with the UN Resident Coordinator Aurelien Agbenonci during celebrations to mark the UN Day on Saturday (Photo; J Mbanda)


The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, has urged the United Nations to work towards improving its relationship and partnership with the government, saying that only a healthy relationship would help Rwanda not only to achieve her Millennium Development Goals but also to surpass them.

Addressing participants during the celebrations of the UN Week in Kigali, Minister Mushikiwabo said that the recent UN mapping report that accuses Rwanda of war crimes in the DRC does not serve the purpose of building peace and good relationships.

“That UN report is wrong,” she said.
“Although Rwanda is a responsible and active member of the UN, she has had very difficult times with the UN. We want to be as honest and forthcoming as possible while we work together to build peace and empower our people,” Mushikiwabo said.

The Minister commended the UN for its role in the development of the country, citing initiatives such as the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics, as well as the recent signing of an MOU between Kigali City Council and the UN to foster women’s economic development through the Agaseke Cooperatives.

“By working together, we can score beyond the goals established for the development of Rwanda,” she added.
In his address, the UN Resident Coordinator, Aurélien Agbénonci, lauded President Paul Kagame’s input and commitment as the Co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group, while citing the MDG Africa Consultation Forum that was hosted in Kigali at the invitation of President Kagame ahead of the 2010 MDG Summit.

“I wish to commend the courage, hard work and vision of the Rwandan leadership and her people which has won the recognition of the international community,” he said.

Agbénonci declined to comment on the UN mapping report which accuses Rwanda of crimes in the DRC, stating that any comment would only serve to jeopardize the efforts of both the Rwandan government and the UN aimed at putting the matter to rest.

The function was capped with the awarding of artists who had participated in the UN Week art competition under the theme “Rwanda in the Future”.