NEW YORK - The UN Deputy Secretary General, Asha Rose Migiro has affirmed the organization’s commitment to secure justice for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and prevention of such gross crimes against humanity.
Migiro made these remarks during an event that was held in New York to mark the 16th commemoration of the genocide.
Citing the achievements of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the UN top official noted that this is just one manifestation of the organization’s commitment.
“As you know, the Tribunal delivered the first-ever verdicts by an international court related to genocide. These, and similar actions, have helped send a clear message to the genocidaires and would-be genocidaires,” she said.
“Simply put, their heinous crimes will not go unpunished. The international community is determined to deliver justice and ensure accountability wherever such crimes occur.”
Migiro also commended the progress made by countries in the Great Lakes Region as regards the historic Pact on Security, Stability and Development.
In relation to the future, the official called upon everyone to do their utmost to prevent such gross crimes against humanity.
“That is the best way to remember those who lost their lives so tragically in Rwanda. The international community stands firm and in solidarity against genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing,” she added.
The US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, who was also present, commended the country’s recovery efforts adding that a small land that has known more than its share of sorrow, contributes more troops to international peacekeeping missions than all but five other nations on Earth.
“Rwanda is writing a new chapter today—despite its past, despite sorrows almost beyond the telling. From great anguish and vast hardship has come new hope,” Rice said.
The US diplomat said that everyone can bear witness today, not just to Rwanda’s suffering but also to its renewal.
“To survivors who have rebuilt shattered homes and restored battered lives—to parents who have taken orphans into their arms and their hearts—to refugees who have found the courage to go home and start anew…”
As she emphasized that Genocide is not unstoppable, Rice urged that it should be everyone’s responsibility to remember and protect.
Rwanda’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Eugene Richard Gasana highlighted the need to manage trauma and post traumatic stress disorder.
He also emphasized that Rwanda remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the implementation of the Responsibility to protect and prevent as a potential impediment to genocide and mass atrocities.
Survivors of the Genocide shared their testimonies as part of the commemoration event.