“The military set our house on fire. Then they started killing people with machetes. Men, women, children. Everyone. We ran away and never went back. On our way … I walked into an abandoned village to look for food. I came across a big water reservoir where I wanted to get some water for the journey. When I got closer, I saw at least 50 dead bodies floating in it. I can’t forget the smell of the burning houses, or the sight of the bloated bodies. These are horrors I will never forget.”
Almost a decade ago, facing a near-collapse of the financial system and the risk of a depression, the world needed a new form of leadership to navigate and restore confidence in the global economy. That’s why, in 2009, at his first global summit as US president, Barack Obama joined then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to spearhead the G20’s upgrade, making it the world’s preeminent economic forum.
Uganda, your story of development, and progress, is extraordinary. Yet we know that it is placed at real risk by the conflict, and uncertainty, that lies just beyond your borders. You could have chosen to turn away from it. Put up walls to the problems of others. But no, Uganda has had the courage to step up.
I am delighted to be here at Melbourne University. And to be here in Australia. It is my first ever visit.
I have enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. And I am looking forward to seeing much more over the next week. Including visiting some of the extraordinary work that Save the Children is doing with Indigenous communities in regional South Australia.
Save the Children International is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with company number 3732267 and a charity registered in England and Wales with charity number 1076822. Its registered office is St Vincent House, 30 Orange Street, London, WC2H 7HH