Republic of Rwanda
New York — The United Nations General Assembly this morning elected Rwanda to one of five rotational seats on the UN Security Council for the term 2013-14. Along with Argentina, Rwanda was elected on the first ballot. The remaining three positions continue to be contested through subsequent ballots, and will be resolved in the coming hours.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo thanked UN members for the faith they have shown in Rwanda.
“We are grateful to have won the support of so many of our fellow member states who responded to our message Rwanda Values Peace, and we are honored to serve. We particularly thank our friends and allies throughout Africa for their overwhelming support,” Mushikiwabo said.
Rwanda, which enjoyed unanimous backing of the African Union, last served on the Security Council in 1993-94 during which period the country endured a genocide against Tutsis that saw more than one million victims. In eighteen years of focused nation-building, Rwanda is an active member of the UN, on track to meet or surpass all the MDGs and the sixth largest contributor to peacekeeping worldwide.
“The contrast could not be sharper between that previous tenure — when a genocidal government occupied a prized Security Council seat as its agents waged genocide back home — and the Rwanda of today: a nation of peace, unity, progress and optimism,” Mushikiwabo said.
Mushikiwabo stressed how this troubling recent history allows Rwanda to offer a unique perspective on matters of war and peace at the Security Council.
“Working with fellow members, Rwanda will draw on its experience to fight for the robust implementation of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine that demands that the world takes notice — and action — when innocent civilians face the threat of atrocities at the hands of their governments, with the understanding that situations have specificities that need to be taken into account.” Mushikiwabo said.
Mushikiwabo also promised that Rwanda would seek opportunities to work with fellow UNSC members to ensure it is responsive and reflective of the views and aspirations of the developing world, in particular the African continent.
“The world is undergoing a period of exciting but uncertain change. Africa is not just growing economically, but our vision of ourselves and the contribution we can make to the world is also expanding. Over the next two years, we hope to ensure that this new reality is reflected in the way the UN Security Council conducts itself in the 21st century,” Mushikiwabo said.