Rwanda Embassy in Tokyo in collaboration with the United Nations based in the same city organised a commemorative seminar on the occasion of Kwibuka22 and to mark the observance of the International day of Reflection on the on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Participants included members of the Diplomatic Corps, Senior Government Officials Members of the Japan Rwanda Parliamentary Friendship League, civil society, academia, private sector representatives, friends of Rwanda and members of the Rwandan community in Japan composed mainly of students.
In her remarks Ambassador Sebudandi underscored the importance of remembering; to honour the victims and the survivors and recognize the sacrifice. She said the International day of reflection on the Genocide against the Tutsi should be an occasion for the global community to reflect on what happened in Rwanda and on the failure to stop the genocide – so that if similar situations arise anywhere there is appropriate and timely response, noting that racial discrimination, racial hatred, religious intolerance, xenophobia, anti-Semitism which are pre-cursers for Genocide are on the rise.
“Rwanda’s experience of being abandoned during the Genocide has led to its commitment to support global efforts for the Responsibility to Protect and is a major troops and police contributor to the United Nations Peace keeping Missions, in 5th position globally,” she said.
On Rwanda’s recovery and development she added that Rwanda’s successful and rapid growth have continued to inspire other developing nations especially those coming out of conflicts. She shared the journey Rwanda has travelled from almost a failed state in 1994 to its current status it has achieved of one of the safest, peaceful and fastest growing economies on the continent with a clear vision centred on achieving a prosperous future for Rwandans.
“The success of the peace building process and current growth and development, is owed above all to the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Paul Kagame which has sustained the good governance and inspired the resilience of the Rwandan people to work hard and refuse to be defined by the past”.
The Ambassador thanked participants who joined the Rwandans in the commemoration and reflection on the genocide against the Tutsi and called on their attention to the dangers of genocide ideology but also on denial and revisionism against the Tutsi which she said were impediments to all efforts for genocide prevention.
Max Bond, the Vice-President of United Nations University, Tokyo, acknowledged the failure of the international community and the United Nations to stop the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. He led the percipients in observing a minute of silence in honour of the victims and paid tribute to the survivors.
He lauded the achievements of Rwanda Government in overcoming the tragedy and for the significant participation to the UN peace building as peacekeepers. He commended the post genocide reconciliation and justice efforts which he said have become inspirational to other countries.
Under the theme Dr. Emmanuel Mutisya of the United University, Institute for the Advanced Study and Sustainability (UNU-IAS), delivered a lecture titled “Governance, Reconciliation and Peace Building in Rwanda Post-1994: Pathways towards Sustainable Development in East Africa,” in which he highlighted Rwanda’s efforts to achieve justice unity and reconciliation of the citizens and to rise to where the country was today.
He discussed Rwanda’s VISION2020 and how it was implemented to achieve social transformation. He pointed out that Rwanda has had its peace and security restored and showed how peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development – yet, he said peace had been left out of the MDGs but is now incorporated as Goal 16 in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He showed that Rwanda was on course on creating better environment for sustainable development that can be an example for African countries.