“We mourn the more than one million children, women, and men who perished in one hundred days of horror 29 years ago,” António Guterres said in his annual commemorative message on the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
He went on to say that: “We honour the memory of the victims – the overwhelming majority Tutsi, but also Hutu and others who opposed the genocide. We pay tribute to the resilience of the survivors. We recognize the journey of the Rwandan people towards healing, restoration, and reconciliation. And we remember – with shame – the failure of the international community.”
“A generation since the genocide, we must never forget what happened – and ensure future generations always remember,” said the UN chief, how easily hate speech – a key indicator of the risk of genocide – turns to hate crime and how “complacency in the face of atrocity is complicity.”
No place, and no time is immune to danger – including our own.
Mr. Guterres stressed that preventing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other serious violations of international law, is a shared responsibility and a “core duty” of every member of the United Nations.
Calling for everyone, in all nations, to stand firm against rising intolerance, be ever vigilant – and always ready to act - he concluded: “And let us truly honour the memory of all Rwandans who perished by building a future of dignity, security, justice, and human rights for all.”
The Memorial Ceremony to mark the 29th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda will be held at UN Headquarters in NY on Friday, 14 April, featuring addresses by the Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, and other officials, as well as remarks from a survivor of the genocide.
A wreath laying and lighting of candles, as well as a ceremony featuring statements from senior UN officials and testimonies from survivors, will be held at the UN Office in Geneva on Thursday, 13 April.