Statement by Minister of State in Charge of Cooperaion, Eugene-Richard Gasana at the Open debate on peace, security and development

Thank you Mr. President,

Rwanda would like to join others in thanking your Excellency and your delegation for organizing this important debate. Frist, allow me to offer my condolences to the Government and people of France for their losses in the terrorist attack last Friday.

I thank the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, for his briefing. His presence here today once again highlights his commitment to peace, stability and development, as a core of the work of his office.

Let me also thank Ambassador Olof Skog, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and Ms. Ouided Bouchamoui, Noble Peace Laureate, for their respective briefings.

Mr. President,

The concept note provided for this open debate pertinently highlighted the nexus between peace, security and development. This is so true, in that since the end of the Cold War, the pursuit of lasting peace has become, together with sustainable development, a global imperative.  Today, it is obvious that peace is conducive to development and vice versa.

Indeed development, if achieved, contributes decisively to the elimination of several root causes of conflict; and if poverty is reduced, social inequalities are lowered, and there is an optimum allocation of scarce resources; it certainly help to avoid many of the situations that exacerbate conflict.

In many situations however, these goals are pursued separately; which then render them unsustainable; or simply put it, policy makers and practitioners do not agree on which one to prioritize first.

In his acceptance speech at the Peace and Democracy award event recently held in Morocco under the theme “From shocks to co-emergence”, H. E President Paul Kagame stated that “peace is the starting point for growth and development. But peace is much more than the absence of violence. True peace is above all a mindset. It is a condition produced when citizens are taken seriously as individuals, as stakeholders, and mobilised towards a good politics and fully included in governance.”

Mr. President,

We believe that current global trends necessitate a pro-active approach to make peace, security and development a mutually reinforcing and intertwined package both at national and international level.

At national level, we are of the view that building governance and the rule of law, combating corruption, improving transparency and accountability, and building confidence in our people lay strong foundation for sustainable development, durable peace and security. This has been true in our case, and all the economic and social progress that we have been able to achieve in the last 21 years rest on our leadership commitment to ultimately ensure that all citizens have safety and security and an inclusive and democratic governance.

The international community has an important role to play, that is, it should assist in building local capacity for peace-sensitive development, in order to enable the government to formulate and implement policies that are sensitive to conflict, minimizing the risks to development interventions. Conflict sensitivity provides ways to reduce conflict, helps communities build peace, and enables institutions to address the structural causes of conflict.

In this regard, we value the work of the Peacebuilding Commission for sustained efforts in post conflict situations since 2005, despite considerable challenges. We note with appreciation the recommendations of the Advisory Group of Experts on the review of the Peacebuilding Architecture; which proved once again that the PBA is inadequate, under-resourced and largely neglected by member states, including by the Security Council. It is our hope that the International Community will rise to the occasion, and find ways to effectively implement the review recommendations.

Lastly Mr President,

With billions of people still living in poverty around the world, rising population, natural resources depletion and adverse impacts of environmental degradation as well recent crises related to public health, migration, and the spread of all types of extremism, including terrorism, these are some of most obvious examples of the need for strong and effective global cooperation.  The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, along with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals build on that premise that an integrated approach involving addressing peace, security and development is necessary. Goal 16 specifically recognizes that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security, and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development.

Improving the conditions for social justice in particular is fundamental to the promotion of peace in a variety of contexts throughout the world. The Sustainable Development Goals should serve as effective tools in realizing inclusive development for all and the right course of action for all of us to strive for an Inclusive and widespread economic development; which give more people a greater present stake in avoiding violent disruption; at the same time, offering them credible hope of a better future for themselves and their children.

I thank you.







Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Jeanne d’Arc Byaje on the promotion and protection of human rights

Thank you Mr. Chair for giving me the floor.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Sierra Leone on behalf of the African Group.

At the outset, let me commend the President of the General Assembly on his choice of this year’s theme that aims at promoting human rights.  In the same vein, Rwanda welcomes the SG reports submitted to the General Assembly that shed some light on milestones achieved in the promotion and protection of Human Rights while at the same time drawing attention on the strides left to be covered in order to build a world where the rights of the person are fully respected starting with the right to development. The big spectrum of issues dealt with has indeed responded to the slogan of leaving no one behind, even though a lot remains to be done. Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank the Commissioner for his thorough briefing that gave more insight on the subject matter.

Mr. Chair,

This debate is indeed timely in light of the world current situation whereby human rights violations and abuses are becoming the norm as we are growing accustomed to unfathomable human suffering due to unrest and conflicts that are impacting adversely the wellbeing of the people.  Such a state of affairs can only result in increasing inequalities between and within countries, trigger the spread of terrorism and displacement of people with a direct effect of reversing all efforts of development.  In this socially, economically and environmentally precarious situation, enjoyment of freedom and human rights will continue to remain illusive and distant if this trend prevails.

Mr. Chair,

This 70th anniversary of the United Nations should therefore be a wake-up call prompting us to pause and gauge the reality of our common failure in fulfilling human rights’ enjoyment in order to make the necessary adjustments. The answer lies in the many outcome documents adopted this year namely the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and others, which, if properly implemented will respond to the needs of the people.

Mr. Chair,

Allow me to mention that Rwanda is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights as a matter of top priority.  This is not only provided for in the Rwandan Constitution but it is also reflected in laws and policies and in Institutions put in place to serve the people.

Furthermore, in compliance with international jurisdictions, Rwanda ratified almost all regional and international legal instruments related to the promotion and protection of human rights and reports of their implementation are regularly submitted to different UN Treaty Bodies. In addition, Human Rights Treaties duly ratified by Rwanda are automatically domesticated and can be immediately applied by courts, as per Article 190 of the Rwandan Constitution.

Mr. Chair,

Following the genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda relates more than any other country to the adverse consequences occasioned by such despicable crimes against humanity resulting in depriving people from their basic rights. It is against that background that Rwanda managed to break with the past to restore a country governed by the rule of law, based on respect for fundamental human rights, pluralistic democracy, equitable power sharing, tolerance and resolution of issues through dialogue. Our agaciro (dignity) is the leitmotiv that drives us in our quest to preserve our self-worth and self-determination.

In addition, Rwanda managed to build strong institutions and a justice system that complies with international standards and has further ensured civil liberties and civic engagement of its people including youth and women by fostering inclusive governance ensuring every single person a say in the destiny of the nation. That bottom-up people-centered approach is not alien to the stability enjoyed during the last 21 years. It has indeed contributed to the improvement of the living standards of a more united, educated and inclusive society.

Mr. President,

In light of the above, ensuring peace and security in the aftermath of a genocide to foster the right to life and development as well as a full attainment of basic human rights cannot be achieved without strong legislation to deter any recidivism and genocide denial likely to trigger a relapse in violence. Thanks to efforts deployed to maintain peace and security, educate, unite and reconcile people, Rwanda lays its hope in the young generation that enjoyed freedom in a reconciled country to bear the torch and pass on those values of tolerance, love and dignity to a future free from genocide or any other manifestation of human rights violation. We cannot emphasize enough how the current leadership, led by H.E. President Paul Kagame, has been instrumental in securing the peace and unity Rwandans currently enjoy which have a ripple effect on economic development and social progress.

Mr. Chair,

In a bid to reaffirm the right to development as established in the Declaration of the Right to development, Rwanda has consistently provided commendable basic social services such as quality education and universal health coverage as well as promoted gender equality and participation of women in all spheres of life. This bodes well for the future in upholding the dignity of the people and in ensuring full respect of human rights for all.

Mr. Chair,

Furthermore, committed to the ideals of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of action, Rwanda as a strong advocate of equality of all people is at the forefront in the fight against any form of racism leading to attempts to denigrate, isolate, discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity and lack of tolerance preventing people to exercise their full rights and liberties. Drawing from our history whereby such kind of intolerance led to the creation of marginalized communities treated as second-class citizens, which later were systematically slaughtered during the genocide against the Tutsi, the current leadership’s quest for peace and sustainable development for all, has made it a point to prevent Rwandans from falling in the same trap by combating any form of divisionism and by making sure that all citizens enjoy the same privileges and are treated equally.

Mr. Chair,

In addition to the above-mentioned gains in socio-economic rights, Rwanda has also registered outstanding achievements in civil and political rights:

As you may know, Rwanda abolished the death penalty in 2007 and this was a hard but necessary decision for a country rebuilding itself from genocide.  Besides, Rwandan citizens benefit from legal aid through Access to Justice Bureaus (Maisons d’Acces à la Justice) established in all districts of the Country, and which include officers in charge of child rights protection.

Similarly, Rwanda has also significantly improved on conditions in detention facilities by rehabilitating prisons and building new ones.

With regards to the rights and access to information, a bill was passed, allowing all public officials to give appropriate information to mass media which has secured the right to auto-regulate instead of being controlled by a public institution.

Finally Mr. Chair,

The Government of Rwanda takes all allegations of human rights abuses seriously and ensures that they are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken. To effect this, the National Police work in tandem with the office of the Ombudsman and the National Commission for Human Rights to tackle any information on human rights violations.

In addition, the National Commission for Human Rights works in collaboration with National human rights Institutions of other countries, the National and International associations, the civil society organizations operating in the field of protection and promotion of human rights, and is specifically responsible to work with the organs and mechanisms of Human Rights from the United Nations system.

Finally Mr. Chair,

Since our 2011 Universal Periodic Review, the Government of Rwanda has initiated and implemented a number of recommendations including reforms in media and CSO sectors. The reforms have generated commendable impact, expanded freedoms, sector strengthening and yielded positive results in the country’s overall development.

In that spirit, Rwanda stands ready to work diligently with all nations, the United Nations family and the OHCHR to promote and protect social and economic rights for a full attainment of development.

I thank you!


Statement on the Working Methods of the Security Council by First Counselor, Sana Maboneza

Mr President,

I thank you for convening this timely and important open debate on working methods of the Security Council. Let me also thank the President of the General Assembly, the Vice President of ECOSOC and the President of the Peacebuilding Commission for their respective briefings. Rwanda aligns itself with the statement delivered by Sierra Leone on behalf of the African Group, the statement delivered by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of NAM, and the Statement delivered by Switzerland on behalf of Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT). Allow me also to add few words in my national capacity.

Mr President,

This year marks important milestones for the United Nations and its wider membership. From socio economic development with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to the review of peace operations, peacebuilding and WPS, Member States and different organizations have acknowledged indeed the importance of adjusting the activities of the UN with the current context of the world we live in today. No doubt that this is a welcome step that hopefully will lead to measurable achievement of sustainable development, with tangible impact on peace and security. This is the reason why, Rwanda is a strong believer of collective and inclusive approach when it comes to peacebuilding and development that are intrinsically linked to security and stability. Peacebuilding and ECOSOC are therefore partners of the Security Council and should actively participate in its meetings, and fulfill their mission accordingly.

And today’s debate brings with it the opportunity to discuss how the Security Council can improve its working methods, 70 years after its establishment, in order to reflect the current reality of the world.

Mr President,

Among many elements raised today by various speakers, allow me to mention few that we believe can help improve the effectiveness of the Security Council.

Despite the current positive trends in working methods of the Security Council, we are yet to live up to the expectations of the 2005 World Summit, mainly on efficiency and effectiveness, on transparency and accountability; and on the implementation of the Council decisions. In this regard, we hope this Council will make tangible progress on the issue of penholders, on the basis of the Note of the President S/2014/268 of 14 April 2014, which recognized the right of any Council member to be a penholder. This reform would allow Council members representing the regions affected by conflicts on the Council’s agenda to at least share the pen with the current penholders.

On relation with/and role of the General Assembly: If one person is expected to work for more than 7 billion persons, it means that those people represented in the UN should have also their say in his or her choice. The selection of the Secretary General should reflect transparency, inclusiveness for the credibility of this body. In this line, we welcome the adoption by consensus on 11 September of the Resolution 69/321 on the revitalization of the General Assembly. We hope that the recommendations as contained in the said Resolution will be fully implemented. The joint letter calling for nomination by the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council, as well as the conduct of dialogues or meetings with candidates for the position of Secretary General is particularly worth mentioning and will enhance for sure, the transparency and inclusivity of the selection process.

On issue related to the use of Veto, Rwanda believes that there is a need to reform the use of the veto right, as proposed by ACT, but also France-Mexico and the Elders. Indeed, given the recent history of this Council and its failure in the past, permanent members should agree on how to refrain from exercising their veto in cases of mass atrocities and genocide. We call on the P-5 to remember their unique responsibility, entrusted in them by the Charter; and ensure that their decisions are always guided by the quest for a sustainable solution to conflicts instead of their geo-strategic interests.

Enhancing interaction and dialogue with wider membership of the UN, through “Arria Formula meetings” or “Informal Interactive Dialogue” remain also critical in increasing the effectiveness, but also transparency of the Council. These are very important tools that can be used in order to have a frank view with a concerned party. In the same vein, consultations between the Council, the Secretariat and Troops and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs); dialogue with non-Council members, among others are very critical for the swift implementation of Council’s   Resolutions. In addition, it is of great and added value if the Council keeps regular consultation with regional and sub regional organization, including respective countries that are on the agenda of the Council, for a better outcome either in peacekeeping, peacebuilding, or prevention. This kind of partnership will help the Security Council to move from a culture of daily management of crises to that of effective prevention of conflicts.

The Council should also take stock of the wrap up session in the format of public briefing which can provide feedback to Member states. Member states are also strongly encourage participating in these important sessions dedicated to the assessment of the activities of the Council, including on its progress, challenges and effectiveness.

With regard to the Annual Report of the Security Council, we do hope that for the future, the Security Council will consider improving its annual reports by introducing a section dedicated to the assessment of its effectiveness in the reporting period, with concrete recommendations on how to act better and faster while maintaining international peace and security.

Mr President,

While we acknowledge progress achieved so far with regard to the working methods of the Council, much more remains to be done. And while waiting for the adoption of a definitive Rules of Procedure, Rwanda believes that various Notes on the working methods of the Council, can greatly contribute to a more transparent, democratic and effective Security Council, provided that they are implemented in good faith, which will uphold the Charter’s equal sovereignty of states.

Let me conclude, Mr. President, by reiterating Rwanda’s position on the Security Council reform. As a member of both the African Group and the L-69 Group, and given our two-year experience in the Council; we believe, more than ever, that the Security Council should be expanded in both categories, with the same rights and privileges, including the veto right as long as it exists. In the meantime, it is critical for the Security Council to continue improving its working methods, with a focus on transparency, effectiveness, inclusiveness and fairness.

After all, the Council calls in its every decision on human rights, democracy and rule of law. And this is a real test for this noble body, to reflect exactly what it preaches. Therefore, walk the talk, dear Council members.

I thank you.

Statement at the General Debate on the development of Africa, by Deputy Permanent Representative, Jeanne d’Arc Byaje

At the outset, let me congratulate the Office of the Special Advisor for Africa, The African Union, UNECA, the APRM, NEPAD and the African Development Bank for this successful edition of Africa Week. Allow me also to welcome all the high-level representatives of the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and commend them for their invaluable contribution.

We thank the Secretary-General for the reports afforded to us on Africa’s progress.

Rwanda endorses the statements delivered by South Africa on behalf of the G77 and China and Sierra Leone for the African Group.

Mr. President,

As we celebrate this 70th anniversary of the United Nations, allow me to join others in congratulating you, on your choice of the theme that sets the stage to the new development agenda.

This landmark year is indeed special as it occurs at a crossroads of the end of the MDGs era while serving as a prelude to the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for sustainable development that has the power to transform our lives in an unprecedented manner.  Coupled with that bold and ambitious agenda is our own Agenda 2063 outlining our priorities to achieve the future we want in order to move from aspirations to reality.

Mr. President,

At the onset, we can note with satisfaction that most of our key priorities have been taken on board in the new agenda making it easier for us to hit two targets with one shot.   The next step will be to merge the two agendas in our development plans.

Mr. President, despite the ongoing effects of the global financial and economic crisis and conflicts still raging on our continent with their corollary of new threats in the form of terrorism and extremism reminding us that we are still navigating in troubled waters, we have reason to lay our hope in the future.  Indeed MR. President, lessons learned from hardship have enabled us to emerge more resilient and equipped with new tools to confront adversity. Consequently, we remain confident that the new agenda will give us an impetus to believe in the readiness of Africa to embark on a positive trajectory and continue to register sustained growth.

Mr. President,

It is a known fact that our economies are undergoing rapid transformation. More and more countries managed to sustain their growth at more than 5% GDP and as we urbanize, burgeoning industry and service sectors are leading to the creation of more off-farm jobs. While the worst enemy we are still confronted with is chronic poverty, we see more and more people being lifted from it when we delve into statistics.  In Rwanda alone, on top of having more than a million lifted out of poverty in a five-year span, the latest figures show that more than 660000 have followed the same path during the last three years. These numbers bode well for the future, as they are likely to prompt policy makers to look at the entire ecosystem and nurture it to open doors to a myriad of possibilities.

Let me now briefly discuss four important issues to my country, where we can see the need for better synergies for the implementation of both landmark outcomes.

  • The Unfinished business of the MDGs

We take this opportunity to recognize the important milestone that the MDGs achieved for many of the developing countries, especially in Africa. For Rwanda, we are on course to meet all the 8 Goals and on some, we have even exceeded the targets.

  • On the nexus between peace, security and development,

This is a fundamental issue that reflects the realities faced by many countries as peace and development are two faces of one coin due to their complementarity. Rwanda, like any other post-conflict country faced considerable difficulties in dealing with the aftermath of the Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed one million lives, and in establishing a climate of peace and security for all as well as in rebuilding inclusive governance structures promoting economic and social development.

With that experience, we have learnt how inclusive decision-making has not only strengthened our governance structures, but also been essential in allowing us to be one of the fastest growing economies on the Continent. This points to a growing need for integrated approaches that promote peace, security and economic development.

  • On the UN—AU partnership,

We believe that increasing the capacity to streamline and implement cooperation with the African Union, and its Regional Economic Communities will help both organizations in their conflict prevention efforts; not only in long term structural measures; but also in their ability to recognize and disseminate the signs of impending or potential conflict.

Third, Gender equality,

As an important step to moving from the aspirations laid down and adopted to making them a reality is the gender and youth component. The African Union also declared 2015 the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”, reaffirming the important role of women and girls in driving the implementation of Agenda 2063.

In most member states of the AU, women comprise of over 50% of the population. Achieving agenda’s 2030 and AU Agenda 2063 and the first 10 year implementation plan would be impossible if nations choose not to include over 50% of their population.

The fourth and last point is job creation for the youth that comprises in some countries more than 70% of the population. Young Africans will play an extremely important role in transforming Africa in social, economic and cultural spheres. Investments are needed in education, employment, empowerment and effective civic participation.

Mr. President,

Reflecting on the measures to take going forward to ensure sustainable development, sustained economic growth and to guarantee peaceful, harmonious and secure living should be dealt with as a matter of priority; in this respect, my country has taken drastic measures in transforming job seekers into job creators.

First, to boost job creation, Rwanda has curbed all significant barriers to employment by investing in quality education and vocational technical education and has created a mass mentoring platform to coach trainees enabling job seekers to get the required experience.

Second, we have encouraged ease of entry on the job market for entrepreneurs by affording them with an adequate support system including appropriate financial products and access to finance, business development services, access to markets and a regulatory framework that makes it easier for start-ups. Decentralizing those services has been instrumental in attaining tangible results. We take this opportunity to thank the African Development Bank for contributing to this venture through the Skills, employability and entrepreneurship programme (SEEP).

Third; by investing massively in research and development and supporting access to technologies, Rwanda has fostered creativity and innovation.

Fourth: Investing in Infrastructure development and energy generation has triggered massive job creation and boosted intra African trade.

Fifth, providing equal opportunities to men and women by ensuring women’s equal access to economic resources, participation in decision-making and by uplifting their capabilities so as to enable them to unleash their full potential has improved their chances for employability.

Finally, Mr. President,

To bring about the necessary change required for Africa to move forward, Governments, donors and the private sector are invited to “walk the talk” with adequate means of implementation to ensure that interventions are being properly implemented. In addition, all ODA commitments should be honoured to complement domestic resource mobilization.

In closing, let me reiterate that the future of Africa is in our hands.  It is therefore high time to join hands in shaping it so that it can hold lives of future generations. In our global quest for poverty eradication, let’s rally behind this motto, seize this momentum and continue to thrive together.

I thank you!


Statement at the UN Women Side event of the 2nd Committee, by Deputy Permanent Representative, Jeanne d’Arc Byaje

Mr. Chair,

I wish to take this opportunity afforded to me to thank you and the Bureau for organizing this important event as well as the distinguished panelist for their insights. This event is timely and goes along with Yesterday’s Security Council debate at the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking Resolution 1325 that reaffirmed how critical to conflict prevention, gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment are. However, we were also reminded of the need for greater attention to its full implementation in line with the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the achievement of Goal 5.

Mr. Chair,

Let me emphasize that gender equality and women empowerment cannot be achieved if deprived of a favorable environment warranted by good governance.

In this respect, Rwanda’s leadership has consistently been committed to  placing women at the heart of the national agenda as gender equality is considered to be a cross cutting pillar in all sectors. Women empowerment should therefore not be regarded as a slogan but rather as a necessary practical mechanism for reconstruction, sustainable peace and development.

In that regard, allow me to share some of the policies and programs that have been implemented;

In our development efforts as in our vision 2020, emphasis has always been put on the cross-cutting nature of women empowerment. This is indeed reflected in our Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS I &II), in which renewed commitments, to gender equality and gender mainstreaming as well as new strategic targets and interventions are at advanced implementation stages. Furthermore, various laws have been put in place to safeguard womenʼs social and economic rights including laws pertaining to the use and ownership of land enabling equal succession and inheritance rights for men and women as by law, all citizens have the right to equal opportunities and equal pay.

The One Cow per Poor Family program enables families to utilize the cow for increased agricultural output and as a source of nutrition for children. This has largely contributed to lifting a large number of women out of extreme poverty.

But to sustain this growth, we also implemented another homegrown solution, known as “Ubudehe”, a process that uplifts poor families’ living standards and  welfare from social assistance allocated to them account taken on the level of support needed. These programmes are supported by a credit scheme that enables the less fortunate, majority of whom are women, to obtain cash transfers to set up income-generating projects. These two examples are some of the many homegrown solutions that we have implemented to ease the disproportionate impact of economic and social shocks on women.

Mr. Chair,

Education of the woman and girl child has a positive impact on economic growth and provides the right tools with a catalytic effect in both economic and social terms. Through our 12-year-basic education, we have seen a high percentage of retention rates for girls. However, they also need to be equipped with better skills and quality education if they are to be competitive in all sectors of the economy. Technology is one avenue that can afford them the opportunity to stay ahead of the economic curve. That is why our government made deliberate efforts to encourage women and girls to enroll in science and technology related fields. This places our youth and girls at the cutting edge of new technology and enables them to unleash their full potential for accelerated growth.

Mr. Chair,

As for women in decision-making roles, Rwanda has the highest female representation in Parliament that currently stands at 64%. Our 2003 Constitution provides for at least 30% of women in public institutions in decision-making positions. Currently, nearly 43% members of our cabinet are female and 50% of Supreme Court judges are women.

Talking about localizing gender equality, the high representation of women also extends to local governments where district councils are almost equally divided between women and men. We are proud to be among those countries that have adopted national plans of action and established institutional gender machineries to follow-up on the commitments of the Beijing Platform for Action.

Mr. Chair,

The onus is on each one of us to bridge the persisting gaps for gender equality to make headways. It is imperative we ensure that both men and women are complementing each other to fulfill that noble cause.  It is already a known fact that gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to sustainable development. However, much greater commitment and action to empower women and girls in the process of eradicating hunger, poverty is highly needed to meet SDG5 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Rwanda has already embarked on that trajectory and will continue to ensure that gains are consolidated so that the notable force that constitutes 52% of our population continues to thrive.

I thank you