International Day of Reflection on the Genocide...
The United Nations (UN) has named April 7 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. In 1994, in the space of three months, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in Rwanda in what came to be known as the Rwanda genocide.
In 1995, the UN called for an outreach program entitled “The Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations” and “to take measures to mobilize civil society for Rwanda genocide victim remembrance and education” to help prevent future acts of genocide. The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide has been observed each year since 2004, 10 years after the genocide took place.
Secretary-General, António Guterres, in his message for the 23nd commemoration of the Rwanda genocide said "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.” However, he warned that “the poison of intolerance” still existed around the world. Even today, minorities and other groups suffer attacks and exploitation based on who they are.”
Today we remember all those who perished in the genocide in Rwanda 23 years ago. 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.
Many people around the world hold memorial ceremonies that include candle-lighting and a minute of silence to honor the victims of the Rwanda genocide. This UN day is also a time for diplomats and key community figures to talk with communities about the atrocities of genocide and the importance of working towards a peaceful way of life. Student conferences, exhibitions, and other commemorative activities are also held.
This year, The annual memorial ceremony has been moderated Maher Nasser, Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and feature a poetry performance by Malaika Uwamahoro, Artist and Rwandan student at Fordham University, as well as remarks by Carl Wilkens, Co-Founder and Director of World Outside My Shoes, Linda Melvern, journalist and author, and Valentine Rugwabiza, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations.
Quoted and edited: Negar paidar