Dr. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director, and Dr. Aisa Kirabo, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, this week started an official visit to Kigali, capital of Rwanda, visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site for the victims of the 1994 Genocide. They were accompanied by the Mayor of Kigali, Mr. Fidele Ndayisaba, and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Aurelien A. Agbenonci.
UN-Habitat chiefs at the genocide memorial © UN-HABITAT
UN-Habitat started its collaboration with the Government of Rwanda after the genocide, assisting to implement projects on the resettlement of returnees and on reconstruction of infrastructure and buildings destroyed during the war in the context of the United Nations and international community efforts to contribute to peace building.
Kigali was also the first East-African city to win the Habitat Scroll in 2008 in recognition of "many innovations in building a model, modern city symbolized by zero tolerance for plastics, improved garbage collection and a substantial reduction in crime".
In October 2011, the former Mayor of Kigali, Ms. Aisa Kirabo, was appointed by the UN Secretary General as the new UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director. The Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva, is currently the President of the 23rd Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat.
The visit will continue today with a meeting with the President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and other national and local authorities to further strengthen cooperation between UN-Habitat and the Government of Rwanda in the urban agenda in the coming years.