Rwandans from all walks of life shared their views on the global sustainable development agenda in advance of the upcoming Stockholm+50 summit in Sweden.
Through a series of consultations taking place across the country, representatives from a diverse range of backgrounds and organisations have shared their hopes and aspirations, which will be presented to the summit alongside other citizen contributions from around the world.
The consultations for Stockholm+50 are being led by the Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Environment, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Sweden in Rwanda. The consultations aim to engage the community and raise awareness about the contribution we can all make to building a healthy planet.
The Stockholm+50 summit will take place from 2-3 June 2022 during the World Environment Day week. Convened by the United Nations General assembly and the governments of Sweden and Kenya, Stockholm+50 will discuss how to achieve a sustainable, healthy and inclusive future for all while tackling climate change. The theme of Stockholm+50 is “A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.”
For Rwanda, Stockholm+50 will be an opportunity to share the country’s sustainable development, climate action efforts, and the unique approach to achieving national targets and recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 26 April 2022, consultation workshops were held in Shangasha and Mukarange sectors of Gicumbi District, where residents, including young people, women and local communities shared their recommendations and expectations for Stockholm+50.
“Through the Stockholm+50 conference, I would like to see more climate adaptation projects in Rwanda so that young people can play their role in protecting our environment and come up with innovative green businesses,” said Evangeline Ndabitondeye, a resident from Shangasha Sector.
People living with disabilities also shared their thoughts on how the world can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals during a consultation held in Kigali on 5 May 2022.
“Vulnerable people are affected by climate change and when it comes to people living with disabilities, it doubles. We must ensure that people with disabilities are part of establishing inclusive policies to protect the environment while addressing the challenges they face,” said Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary, National Union of Disabilities’ Organisations of Rwanda.
On May 6 2022, Rwanda’s National Stockholm+50 Consultation in Kigali was held which produced distinctive views from participants through broad-based and inclusive dialogue. It was attended by representatives of government institutions, development partners, young people and other stakeholders who have generated innovative ideas and insights on how Rwanda can achieve a healthy environment and prosperity for all.
“In recognition of the importance of working together to tackle the Earth’s triple crises – climate, nature, and pollution, Rwanda will participate in Stockholm+50 and plans to feature the remarkable efforts towards “thinking globally and acting locally” for a healthy planet and prosperity for all in a way that achieves national sustainable development targets,” said Dr. Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment.
Through both in-person and virtual platforms, participants have shared their ideas for actions to advance national and sectoral policies that address climate change and leverage nature-based solutions.
“Sweden is proud to partner with Kenya and the UN to host the Stockholm+50 conference on a healthy planet for the prosperity of all. The conference is an opportunity to come up with solutions and recommit for a healthy planet. It is our responsibility and our opportunity. We need your voice to be heard. I encourage everyone to have their say by completing the online Stockholm+50 State of the Planet global survey,” H.E. Johanna Teague, Swedish Ambassador to Rwanda.
“We must adopt new measures to address the environmental crisis and growing inequality and make these part of a longer term strategy that begins now. That commitment will improve the prospects for a healthier and more prosperous future for all – which is the clarion call of Stockholm+50,” said Maxwell Gomera, UNDP Resident Representative.
Rwanda is a firm believer in the power of multilateralism and international dialogue to achieve sustainable development and ensure an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks forward to sharing the views of Rwandans and the country’s track record of environmental protection and climate action at Stockholm+50 in Sweden.
Stockholm+50 is an international meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly to be held in Stockholm, Sweden from 2-3 June 2022. It will commemorate the 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which made the environment a pressing global issue for the first time.
The meeting also aims to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals during the Decade of Action including through a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Sweden is hosting the meeting with the support of the Government of Kenya. The meeting will also reinforce the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the UN Environment Programme.
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