President Paul Kagame has called for global solidarity against genocide denial and trivialisation, saying that they continue to make the world unsafe.
President Kagame was speaking at the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC, yesterday.
AIPAC Policy Conference is an annual pro-Israel gathering that attract over 18,000 community participants aiming at strengthening US-Israel relations, in ways that enhance the security of both countries.
Kagame called for global solidarity against efforts to deny genocide and trivialise the victims, saying that security of once targeted people is beyond physical.
“The security of peoples who have once been targeted for extermination can never be exclusively physical. Until all ideologies that justify killing as a patriotic duty are defeated, our world is not truly safe. Not for us, not for anyone, he said.
“Together with friends like the US, we must call for renewed global solidarity against the efforts to deny genocide and trivialise the victims.
The President expressed solidarity with Israel, which continues to face threats from some of its neigbours, saying that the country has a right to exist and thrive as a full member of the international community.
Drawing similarities between the two nations, the President said Rwanda and Israel were proof that no tragedy was too great to get past.
“Rwanda is without question a friend of Israel. No tragedy is very great or so vast that human ingenuity and resilience cannot give rise to a better future. The survival and renewal of our two nations testifies to this truth, he said.
The place of Israel in the international community, Kagame said, would give way for peace building and a more secure world.
“This is not an infringement on the rights of any other people and should not be seen as such. It makes our world more secure and peaceful,” the President said.
Kagame also took note of Israel’s cordial relations with the African continent which he said are characterised by complementary capabilities and mutual interests.
“We are glad that Israel is engaging with Africa and that Africa is responding in a good way. Previously there has been absence of that and it has in a sense hurt the understanding that people should have about Israel and what it has gone through,” said Kagame.
He said Israel is in a position to serve as a model on nation building having beaten odds to thrive, given its hostile surroundings and unsympathetic international community.
Areas where the continent can learn from Israel include its use of technology, its knowledge based economy and investing in citizens.
“When you look at all this put together, it mirrors what we have been going through in the recent past. We think that there are lessons to be learnt that if people are determined, focused and it’s about their survival, there are not going to be limits of how far they can go to develop themselves,” he said.
President Kagame is the first African Head of State to address the conference.
Prior to the President’s remarks, Yannick Tona, a Rwandan student in the US, shared with the audience insights into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as well as its similarities to the Jewish Holocaust.
Other speakers at this year’s conference include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Vice President Michael Pence, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan, among others.