[RC’s Statement] On International Remembrance of Victims of the Rwanda Genocide

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide is in line with the General Assembly resolution A/RES/60/225 which calls for the establishment of a program of outreach entitled “the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations” aiming at preventing future acts of genocide. 
 
This day is, therefore, a reminder to all of us to renew our commitment to say “never again” with one voiceto such atrocities as the one that took place in Rwanda 18 years ago. 
 
Allow me to quote part of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s message for this Day: I quote - “We remember the more than 800,000 innocent people who lost their lives. This year’s theme is learning from history to shape a bright future. Rwanda has learned from the appalling tragedy of 1994. So has the world. Rwanda is making progress towards building a more peaceful and just society. The international community is striving to ensure that similar tragedies never happen again.” End of quote.
 
This Day should also remind all of us that the only way to live in harmony with each other is to have the courage to resolve our differences through negotiation, compromise, and consensus building.
 
True and effective transformation and progress in our societies are tied to our human values, and to our dreams and aspirations to live a full and fulfilled life.  These are also encapsulated in international norms and standards such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whether it is through the application of these international norms or by observing the cultural values of tolerance and peace in our own societies, we should strive to make our world a better place for each and every one, irrespective of age, colour, gender, religion, or ethnic origin.
 
The Rwandan Genocide has shown that violence breeds violence. Intolerance can bring about destruction of lives and properties, and loss of opportunities for generations.  Violence can also perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty, and fuel instability and insecurity. We, therefore, have to muster the courage and the resolve to condemn and act decisively against genocide and any crimes against humanity.
 
In conclusion, I would like to again quote a section of the Secretary General’s statement for the day – and I quote: “Preventing genocide is a collective responsibility. Let us continue to work together to ensure a future forever free of genocide.  This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honor the resilience of the survivors.”