RWANDA President Paul Kagame says it is possible for countries at every income level to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all.
In his general debate to the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, President Kagame said growth must be fully inclusive so that inequality within countries continues to diminish.
“The international community stands at a crossroads. The 2020s could be remembered in history as a turning point, or as the moment when multilateralism lost its way,” he said. “Fortunately, the path forward is clear. Never before have we had such well-defined roadmaps for joint action on development, climate change, and global health.”
President Kagame said the transformational potential of Universal Health Coverage was now at the top of the global health agenda.
“In Rwanda, more than 90 per cent of the population has insurance coverage. This has contributed to significant improvement in health outcomes,” he reported. “It shows that it is possible for countries at every income level to make health care affordable and accessible for all. We must also commit to replenishing the Global Fund and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. These are not things that should or can be done on Africa’s behalf. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are also Africa’s goals. Africa has the means, and it is our responsibility.”
President Kagame informed the global community that the African Union continued to strengthen its capabilities and effectiveness. He said in July 2020, trading would commence under the African Continental Free Trade Area, which would become the world’s largest.
President Kagame noted that Africa continued to lag behind other regions on the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This is despite the fact that our continent is home to several of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Growth must be fully inclusive so that inequality within countries continues to diminish,” he said. “The fundamentals needed to unlock this transformation are already in place. With a concerted push involving all partners, including the private sector, it is indeed possible to make up for lost time with the Sustainable Development Goals.”
President Kagame also said security and stability are the prerequisites for rapid progress toward a more equitable and prosperous world.
He said it was essential for Africa and the rest of the international community to work closely together on peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, with mutual respect.
“In the coming weeks, Rwanda is preparing to receive and protect a number of refugees and asylum-seekers from detention camps in Libya. The support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the African Union is greatly appreciated,” said President Kagame. “We call on every member of the United Nations to uphold their legal obligations in a spirit of solidarity. This partnership is a clear sign that we can cooperate to address complex problems. Africa itself is also a source of solutions. There is no doubt that the challenge of global inequality can only be addressed by working together. Rwanda stands ready to do our part. That includes guaranteeing the rights and opportunities of women and girls. I therefore take this opportunity to invite you to Kigali in November for the Global Gender Summit.”