Remembering Those Who Perished In The Rwanda Genocide
On 23 December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution (A/RES/58/234) designating 7 April, the start date of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. Every year, on or around that date, the United Nations organizes commemorative events at its Headquarters in New York and at United Nations offices around the world. Since the establishment of the Programme in 2005, commemorative activities have taken place in more than 20 countries.
Today we remember all those who perished in the genocide in Rwanda 23 years ago.
More than 800,000 people were systematically murdered across the country – overwhelmingly Tutsi, along with moderate Hutu, Twa and others.
Today we also honour those who survived. We recognize their pain and courage, and the struggles they continue to face. The survivors’ resilience and their capacity for reconciliation are an inspiration to us all.
The only way to truly honour the memory of those who were killed in Rwanda is to ensure that such events never occur again. Preventing genocide and other monstrous crimes is a shared responsibility and a core duty of the United Nations.
The world must always be alert to the warning signs of genocide, and act quickly and early against the threat.
History is filled with tragic chapters of hatred, inaction and indifference – a cycle that has led to violence, incarceration and death camps.
The past century alone showed, again and again, the poison of intolerance still loose in our societies.
Even today, minorities and other groups suffer attacks and exploitation based on who they are.
Let us learn the lessons of Rwanda and work together to build a future of dignity, tolerance and human rights for all.