The Government of Rwanda is the lead sponsor of the declaration and is providing political leadership on behalf of endemic countries. The Government of Rwanda has fed into the first draft of the declaration and approved it for wider stakeholder input.

The Government of Rwanda will play a key role in mobilising endemic countries to sign the declaration.

The Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Secretariat has led in negotiating the leadership of the Government of Rwanda in the Kigali Declaration, including securing the following:

  • Approving the name of this NTD political declaration, “the Kigali Declaration on NTDs”
  • The sponsorship of the Government of Rwanda, at its highest levels, to lead country engagement and outreach
  • The role of the Government of Rwanda in the production of the first draft and counsel on framing.

We are grateful to the Government of Rwanda for their instrumental leadership throughout this process and look forward to our continued partnership to deliver a high-impact declaration that will support countries achieve their 2030 goals for NTDs.

The secretariat will continue to play a key role in facilitating and supporting the drafting of the declaration in accordance with direction from the Government of Rwanda and the Board of Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Further, the secretariat will coordinate the consultation process across the various stakeholder groups with support from the Consultative Forum.

As the secretariat is accountable to the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Board, the work of the secretariat in this critical area of work will be signed off by the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Board.

 

The Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Secretariat working with a small task team of its Consultative Forum will review all the feedback, identifying:

  1. What are the quick fixes that do not require escalation?
  2. What needs to be shared with the relevant stakeholder groups, including national governments, for their reflection in their revised/final stakeholder sections
  3. Strategic/Critical feedback for the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Board and the Government of Rwanda’s feedback and response as appropriate

We thank our partners for appreciating that as national governments, including the Government of Rwanda, are in the middle of fighting a pandemic, we cannot add to their workload by sending them every single piece of feedback from our partners.

As a secretariat, in collaboration with the Consultative Forum, we will take on this task of collating the feedback and only forward to the Government of Rwanda the type of input that warrants their response.

 

We will share a report of the feedback received through a partnership webinar showing how the feedback has been dealt with.

A partner webinar session is planned for the 16th of September. A separate communication on the webinar will follow. Please look out for it.

The final declaration that takes into account all this feedback will be delivered for approval to the Government of Rwanda and shared with partners at the beginning of October.

The final declaration will be approved by the Government of Rwanda, working with the Board of Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases.

 

This is a point that we have grappled with. We agree that simplicity is more. However, the overall consensus is that a one pager declaration risks losing the specificity and the unique contributions of various stakeholders and accountability.

We have tried to come up with a declaration that incorporates tangible commitments and provides accountability. A spotlight of the role of national governments who are key to the delivery of the 2030 goals.

We will however endeavour to eliminate unnecessary duplication in the draft and make it pithier.

 

The Government of Rwanda felt strongly that we could not ignore the current context on COVID-19, and this needed to be reflected. However, we will review the contextual information about COVID-19 to ensure it is not excessive and that it has longevity.

 

We will be asking countries, organisations, and institutions to sign, and for one signature per organisation. This should be a senior authorised signatory from each country/institution/organisation (e.g., Heads of State, CEOs, Director Generals, Administrators, etc.) so that there is accountability at the right levels.

 

The declaration is a high-level political framework which sets out stakeholder commitments and the integration strategy in support of the World Health Organization’s roadmap. As seen with the London Declaration and other tools, these frameworks have the power to mobilise resources, with peers standing shoulder to shoulder for the collective good. There can be no legal instrument that can be employed to make this legally binding.

 

An online system is currently being developed whereby individual stakeholders will upload their expected commitments and in due course actual contributions. As part of this, we will create an online tracker which will log and track commitments.

We will share further details of the tracker once it has been developed.