African Union Chairman and President of Rwanda His Excellency Paul Kagame addresses the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York [25.09.18]

African Union Chairman, who is also the President of Rwanda His Excellency Paul Kagame says times have changed in Africa and Zimbabwe is one country that is on a path of progress, urging the international community to offer the southern African country all the encouragement.

President Kagame was addressing the general debate of the 73rd Session of the United National General Assembly in New York yesterday.

He spoke of “momentous development in the horn of Africa” – in Ethiopia, Eretria, Djibouti and Somalia, saying the region’s leaders deserve full support after setting aside decades of mistrust and working towards comprehensive settlements.

“In Zimbabwe as well, the next stages on the country’s path of progress warrant steady encouragement from the international community,” said President Kagame.

President Kagame implored the international community to change its perception of Africa, saying the continent is moving towards closer and more productive cooperation through the AU and regional bodies.

“…Africa is reducing the need for external mediation, and this is how it should be. Times have changed. The management of Africa’s global position must change,” he said.

He highlighted a number of reforms which the continent has instituted recently, including the AU’s financial and institutional reforms started about 3 years ago which have produced practical results including financial discipline where this year the continental body has produced a budget which is 12 percent lower than that of last year.

Mr Kagame also said Member States financial contributions to the AU have increased.

The African Union Chair said the historic Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) which was signed early this year will redefine Africa’s position in the global economic and global trade architecture.

He revealed that key political transitions were held in a peaceful manner in some African countries this year.

Zimbabwe held harmonised elections on 30 July and these have been widely commended and endorsed as having been conducted in peaceful, free, fair and credible manner.

President Kagame called for the deepening of the UN-Africa partnership, saying “a more functional Africa benefits everyone”.

He took a swipe at the “unsustainable system of global governance” saying the theme for this year’s general debate is ‘Making The UN Relevant To All People’ which requires commitment to achieve real multilateralism where it has too often been lacking.

“The current system of global governance is unsustainable where a few get to be the ones to define the norms by which others shall be judged…. standards that do not apply to everyone equally are not universal.

“Addressing this imbalance in the very foundation of our system is what will give shape to a revival of multilateral corporation and renew the legitimacy of international institutions crucial to our planets future,” said President Kagame.

President Kagame said he looks forward to the deepening of “this important partnership between Africa and the UN to advance our shared agenda of peace and security, gender equality and women empowerment, environmental protection and shared prosperity.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to address the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly later today.