Rwanda's National Action Plan on UN Security Council resolution 1325 was officially launched during the International Forum on the Role of Leadership in Promoting, Accelerating and Sustaining Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Kigali, Rwanda on 17-18 May. The event was organized by the Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians, in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Family Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, with the support of UNIFEM, UNDP and other partners.
The forum, which was attended by over 400 participants, was officially opened by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, with participation of the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro; the first President of the Pan-African Parliament, Amb Gertrude Mongella; the Spanish Minister of Gender, Bibiana Aido; and the Executive Director of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Amb Liberata Mula Mula, among other dignitaries.Statements were telecast from the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, as well as the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who reiterated the responsibilities of state leaders to advance gender equality in their countries.
The forum provided a platform for policy review, dialogue, commitment and strategic orientation on how to promote, accelerate and sustain the momentum towards gender equality. Plenary sessions were organized around three themes: The role of leadership in transforming society; a common agenda on women, peace, security and development; and recommendations for accelerating the pace towards gender equality and women's empowerment.The meeting ended on a high note with leaders pledging a greater commitment towards making gender equality a priority in their development plans and programmes. A special call was made to Rwanda to document and share its model on gender across Africa. Rwanda's National Action Plan on UN Security Council resolution 1325 was launched at the close of the conference by the Minister of Gender and Family Affairs, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya.
Before the opening of the forum, a One Million Women and Girls' March for a Better Future convened women and men, girls and boys across Rwanda on 16 May. As part of the conference programme, the First Lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame, inaugurated the Kacyiru Police Hospital in which the ISANGE One Stop Centre for Survivors of Child, Domestic and Gender-based Violence is integrated. The ISANGE Centre is supported by UNFPA, UNICEF and UNIFEM and has been in operation since July 2009, while the hospital is funded by the First Lady's initiative, the Imbuto Foundation.