Rwanda National Statement | United Nations Environment Assembly 5.2 Nairobi, Kenya | High Level Segment

  • Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government
  • President of the UNEA
  • Executive Secretary, UNEP 
  • Distinguished guests 
  • Ladies and gentlemen 

Good afternoon,

It is an honour to represent His Excellency, President Paul Kagame, who sends his best wishes for a successful United Nations Environment Assembly.

Despite the unprecedented times we are living in, this Assembly remains a critical forum to discuss the most pressing environmental issues affecting our planet. 

In Rwanda, we continue to put the environment at the heart of everything we do because we understand that nature is our greatest ally.

Our ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution will see the country reduce emissions by 38% by 2030 compared to business as usual. 

A plan to expand Volcanoes National Park will increase the home of Rwanda’s majestic mountain gorillas by 23 per cent, and our efforts to protect and create new habitat for species like the critically endangered Eastern black rhino are progressing well. 

We are also building on our long-term efforts to rehabilitate urban wetlands that can be enjoyed by people and provide a haven for nature to thrive.

This year, the spirit of multilateralism and cooperation has enabled us all to imagine a world free from plastic pollution.

Such a promising future is only possible because of the work of dedicated environmental policy makers from around the world represented here today.

It was this spirit that led Rwanda and fellow Member States to draft a resolution to begin the process of creating an international, legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution. 

Such an instrument will reduce global plastic waste by curbing the manufacture and use of single-use plastics and foster a viable circular economy for plastics by considering their full life cycle.

I would like to extend my thanks to Peru, and all other nations who co-sponsored the inclusive resolution, which was provisionally approved by the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives early this morning. The support of the global private sector is also noted. 

While the development of an instrument may take time, I encourage all nations to start implementing policies that address plastic waste. In Rwanda, we are enjoying the benefits of banning plastic bags in 2008, and single-use plastics in 2019. 

I wish to conclude by expressing my appreciation to the leadership of UNEP for organising this Assembly and congratulate you on 50 years of remarkable service.

My thanks also go to the Government and people of Kenya for your warm hospitality. Asante sana. 

Finally, I wish to thank the President of UNEA for your team’s hard work to make the assembly a success. 

Thank you for your kind attention.

 

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