Closing Remarks by Minister James Kabarebe at the International Conference on the Protection of Civilians

James Kabarebe, Minister of Defence, Republic of Rwanda
Closing of the High Level International Conference on Protection of Civilians

Kigali, 29 May 2015

Your Excellence Jose Ramos Horta, Chair of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations,
Excellency Dmitri Titov, Assistant Secretary General and Representing the UN Secretary General,
Honourable Ministers,
Generals,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have been honoured to be with you over the past two days, and it is my honour to stand before you as we come to the close of what has been by all accounts a very busy, yet successful and productive conference, the first ever conference of TCCs to discuss the effective implementation of Protection of Civilians mandate.

I am particularly encouraged by fruitful discussions, which led us to wide agreement on the need to adopt a more proactive approach in our endeavour to protect civilians in Peacekeeping operations.

As one of 30 top troop and police contributing countries, it is our conviction that constant engagement and discussions among stakeholders such as this conference is fundamental to strengthening Peacekeeping operations; including delivering on core mandate of protection of Civilians, which we believe should be the goal of all peacekeeping Operations as remarked by HE President Paul Kagame in his keynote address.

This conference and its conclusions represent a critical turning point in advancing dialogue on Protection of Civilians not only among TCCs; but also with the Partners who are represented here today; but also for those who could not make it for some reasons.

It is our hope that the next step will be the endorsement, on voluntary basis, of the Kigali Principles that have just been read out. We believe these Kigali Principles will be the basis for our next discussions on POC, particularly the September 2015 High Level Summit on Peacekeeping Operations.

The Government of Rwanda is grateful for the positive feedback to our invitation for this conference; which in itself is an indication that we have a shared understanding that we needed to move beyond the business as usual. Your insights on the way forward are very much appreciated

Last but not least, I sincerely thank. H.E. Paul Kagame The President of Rwanda, H.E. Jose Ramos Horta, H.E. Dmitry Titov, Heads of Delegations, all of the speakers, session moderators, panelists, rapporteurs, and everyone involved in the conference, and of course all of you, the participants, who all contributed to a really successful conference.

I thank you very much and wish you safe travel back home for those traveling this evening; and a very pleasant stay in Rwanda for those who are still enjoying the beauty of our country!

I thank you very much.