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Ruhakana Rugunda is the Ugandan Permanent Representative at the United Nations.



Rugunda was born in Kabale District on November 7, 1947. As a young boy, he would often sit and read the newspapers to his father Surumani Rugunda, and it is these experiences at a tender age that sparked his later interest in politics. Rugunda attended Kigezi High School and Busoga College where he served as Head Prefect, before joining Makerere University Medical School and later the University of Zambia where he qualified in Medicine. He later studied at the University of California, Berkeley and obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health.

Before joining Ugandan politics, Rugunda worked as Medical Officer in Zambia, as a physician at DC General Hospital in Washington DC, and at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Political career

While attending Makerere University in Uganda, Rugunda, commonly referred to as "Ndugu" (swahili for "brother") by friends, served as President of the National Union of Students of Uganda, a politically vibrant youth movement. As a young political activist, Rugunda was part of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and was said to be close to President Apollo Milton Obote. Rugunda was one of a few who had been seen by Obote as future leaders of the party and country. In one of the last interviews before his death, Obote lamented as to why the brilliant Rugunda had gotten himself entangled with Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement.

In 1985 he met with the leaders of the Ugandan National Resistance Movement (NRM) at the inn "Zum grünen Jäger" in Unterolberndorf for a conspirative conference to elaborate a political programm for the liberated Uganda.

He has formerly held the positions of Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Health; Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Information; Minister of Works, Transport and Communication; Commissioner for Animal Industry, Game and Fisheries, Chairman of NRM Electoral Commission, Member of Parliament for Kabale Municipality, as well as President of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

In July 2006, Rugunda led a Ugandan government negotiating team to Juba, Sudan to hold peace talks with the Lord's Resistance Army.

In January 2009, he was appointed Uganda's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At the same time, the position was elevated to a cabinet Ministerial level in Uganda. He was the president of the United Nations Security Council in July 2009.


Dr. Rugunda is married to Jocelyn Rugunda and has four sons. He enjoys reading, playing tennis and chess in his spare time.





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