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Rwanda moves from Commitments to Actions.

Rwanda moves from Commitments to Actions.

Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 and beyond: Keeping the promise!


Kigali, 4th December 2020, The Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNFPA organized a high level multi-sectoral stakeholders meeting to disseminate the Rwanda ICPD25 Commitments made at the Nairobi Summit, review the progress made since November 2019, and validate the National Action Plan to fast track the implementation of commitments towards achieving the universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2030.

In 1994, 179 governments met during International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, to reach global consensus that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a bedrock necessity for growth and prosperity. The adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action marked the beginning of a new era of commitment and willingness on the part of governments, the international community and civil society to integrate population concerns into all economic and social activities, recognizing that reproductive health, women's empowerment and gender equality are the pathway to sustainable development. 

Last year, the World converged at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 from 12-15, November 2019, to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) to take stock of the tremendous progress and reflect on the next decade of action. Over 8,300 people from 172 countries and territories participated, debated and celebrated at the Summit, including Governments, development partners, civil society organizations, academia, private sector, faith-based organizations, international financial institutions and grass roots organizations in pursuit of sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Rwanda’s delegation to the Nairobi Summit included H.E. Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, the First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda, Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Members of Parliament and over 30 delegates drawn from the civil society, media and youth organizations. Hon. Dr. Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered Rwanda’s Commitments at the Summit while the East African Community (EAC) Commitments were delivered by Hon. Dr. Ndimubanzi, on behalf of Rwanda as the Chair of the EAC in 2019.

The high level multi-sectoral stakeholders meeting held at Kigali Convention Center, presented the recent Rwanda ICPD25 commitments, and discussed progress made so far, reviewing and validating the action plan of implementation of the ICPD25 commitments, roles & responsibilities of the various actors as well as required resources. The Action Plan includes indicators to track progress on achieving commitments and streamline reporting at country level. 

The meeting was chaired by the Hon. Minister of Health, and in attendance were the Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government, Members of Parliament, the UN Resident Coordinator, UN Heads of Agencies, Global High-Level Commissioner for ICPD25 Commitments Prof Senait Fisseha, Development Partners, CSOs agencies and Academic institutions involved in SRHR for all.

In his opening remarks Hon. Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije emphasized that 2020 is the year Rwanda moves from Commitments to Action despite the challenges encountered due to COVID19 pandemic. He called on the various stakeholders to work together, individually and collectively to support the implementation of the Rwanda Commitments on ICPD25.

We call upon all stakeholders to strengthen collaboration for accurate SRH information including a contextualized Comprehensive Sexual Education with a focus on parents and creation of evidence on best practices for the prevention of teenage pregnancies to address the silence and enable women speak up against violence.” Said Dr. Ngamije

Hon. Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije delivering opening remarks.

The stakeholders meeting took place a day after the dissemination of the 6th Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2019-2020), that highlighted significant improvements in maternal health and expanded access to voluntary family planning.

As the new DHS 2019-2020 figures affirm, we have much progress to celebrate, but also some unfinished business to achieve - that we will achieve, together. The reproductive rights of women & girls are not up for negotiation. We shall protect and uphold them” Said Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative.

Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Rwanda Representative, delivering his remarks.

Key progress includes increased mCPR from 47,5% in 2015 to 58% in 2020; decreased unmet need for Family Planning from 19% in 2015 to 14% in 2020 and teenage pregnancy reduced from 7,3% in 2015 to 5,2% in 2020, among others.

The Government of Rwanda committed to support universal access to sexual, reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health. Key drivers of the progress include a visionary leadership, community participation, commitment, citizens’ hard work and support from development partners.

The numbers we’ve seen here mean that we still have a lot to do. We are here with the Members of Parliament, members of civil society and other partners who are interested in SRH. By working together, we will be able to make informed decisions, everyone on their level.” Said Hon. Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.