Rwanda’s PM speech delivered at the 4th Session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi

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On 14th March 2019, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente delivered Rwanda’s Statement at the 4th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) convened in Kenya.

Here is the Full speech:

  • Your Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya,
  • Your Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
  • Your Excellency Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar,
  • Excellencies,
  • Heads of delegations,
  • Distinguished guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,  
  1. It is my great pleasure and honour to attend the 4th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly representing H.E. Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda. I wish to convey to you all, his warm greetings and best wishes for a successful meeting here in Nairobi.
  • I wish to thank President Kenyatta for hosting this assembly. The Rwandan delegation appreciates the warm hospitality that our Kenyan brothers and sisters extended to us since our arrival.
  • We are gathered here today at a critical time in the humanity’s relationship with nature. Never before have the pressures on our environment been greater. In many parts of the world, climate change is already affecting our societies. Economies and ecosystems are struggling to keep up with the rate of warming. Therefore, this United Nations Environment Assembly, themed “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production”, is a good opportunity to define a new development model that is clean, green and climate-friendly.
  • We strongly believe that resolutions from this assembly will complement other existing global strategies and commitments to address climate change. One of them is the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol that aims at phasing out the use of potent warming gases known as HFCs by more than 80 per cent over the next 30 years.
  • The Government of Rwanda thanks the 69 nations that have already ratified the Kigali Amendment, and encourages all Member States to do so in order to fast-track the phase-out of these warming gases, and strengthen global climate action.
  • If we implement the Kigali Amendment with energy efficiency, we can avoid an additional half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. In this regard, I wish to express my appreciation to President Kenyatta and President Macron for convening this One Planet Summit on the side-lines of UNEA-4 and for their commitment to climate action.
  • Excellencies    
  • Distinguished delegates,
  • Water resources management and reducing dependency on biomass as a source of cooking energy are two critical aspects of climate action in Africa, and necessitate innovative solutions. I encourage nations across the continent to work together to address these challenges for the health and well-being of all.  
  • I would like to use this opportunity to mention that my country, Rwanda, in partnership with the UN Environment, Global Environment Facility, the World Economic Forum and other governments, recently established the African Circular Economy Alliance.
  • The mission of the Alliance is to advance the uptake of the circular economy across the continent through sharing experience and facilitating new partnerships between public and private institutions. I invite all African nations to join the Alliance. Our common goal should be the creation of a zero waste society that will both address environmental issues, boost economic growth and job creation.
  1. To build clean, green and resilient societies requires a robust policy framework that protects and rehabilitates nature, gives priority to the health of citizens, and fosters green investments. In this context, Rwanda was proud to initiate and host, in November last year, the Africa Green Growth Forum to fast-track green growth across the continent. The next Africa Green Growth Forum will take place in 2020 in Kigali. We take this opportunity to invite you all to this forum.
  1. Rwanda would like to reiterate its commitment to promoting sustainable management of the environment and natural resources and respecting its international obligations as we transition towards a green economy.  
  1. In conclusion,I wish to commend the joint efforts of the Republic of Kenya, and the Republic of France, the co-chairs of this assembly and the United Nations for organising this Assembly.
  1. As leaders we should be ambitious and innovative in our efforts to address transnational environmental challenges for our nations’ sustainable growth and development.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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