JERUSALEM - President Paul Kagame has said that the Rwanda Genocide of 1994 could not be stopped by the international community because by that time there was lack of global interdependence. He said this Tuesday in the Israeli capital Jerusalem during a conference that was hosted by his counterpart Shimon Peres, a conference that was dubbed ‘Presidents Discussing Tomorrow.’ “During the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, global interdependence then, was inadequate. It did not intervene to stop the genocide because powerful interests did not regard this important enough…in fact, some even abetted it,” Kagame said.
He castigated some powerful countries who have accorded themselves the right to extend their national jurisdiction to
indict weaker nations, an act he said, was in total disregard of international justice and order.
“This is mere arrogance which simply has to be resisted,” noted Kagame.
12 Heads of State were scheduled to attend the day’s session: Latvia, Poland, Palau, Burkina-Faso, Rwanda, Slovenia, Croatia, Mongolia, Albania, Ukraine and Uganda. Also invited was former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain and currently Quartet Representative, chaired and moderated the session.
The Presidential Conference was part of events orgainised to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israeli. ( Full speech below).
Your Excellency Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, I wish to congratulate you, the people, and the government of the State of Israel for the important sixty-year milestone of Israel’s statehood. This would not have been possible – except for your resilience and determination.
I also appreciate the opportunity to join you Mr. President and other leaders gathered here to share views on the challenges and opportunities of globalization.
Globalization, simply understood as the world drawn together by literally shrinking time and space, means that humanity is intrinsically linked – and that what happens in one part of the globe impacts the whole in one way or another.
More than ever before, different parts of our world depend on each other in various ways – in human intellect and talent, knowledge, technology, innovation, investment, trade, and finance.
This means that we have at our disposal the tools to address most global challenges, with the enormous resources at hand, be it human or financial resources, technologies or the know-how.
Globalization is therefore good for the world’s inhabitants because it provides them with unlimited opportunities – if these opportunities are relentlessly and innovatively pursued.
Rwanda is determined to be part of this. We are establishing and executing policies aimed at ensuring that we actively and meaningfully participate in globalization in terms of addressing the challenges as well as reaping the benefits.
We believe that prosperity is not a question of natural resource endowments or geographical location or size of countries. It is about implementing policies that permit advances in knowledge, innovation and effective management of different resources for interaction locally, regionally and globally. The more widespread such success, the more stable our world becomes – which fosters healthier interdependence.
Globalization, however, has its serious challenges. If the increased interdependence is to achieve consistency, it must be based on a level playing field, with some kind of standard applied to all, in light of the fact that the world is made up of the powerful and the less powerful.
Take for example the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The global interdependence then, was inadequate. It did not intervene to stop the genocide because powerful interests did not regard this important enough. In fact, some even abetted it.
As if that is not bad enough, lately, some in the more powerful parts of the world have given themselves the right to extend their national jurisdiction to indict weaker nations. This is total disregard of international justice and order.
Where does this right come from? Would the reverse apply – such that a judgment from less powerful nations indicts those from the more powerful?
This is mere arrogance which simply has to be resisted. Most certainly this is not the tomorrow we should continue to see in our globe, our continent and my country. We envisage a world community in which sovereign nations govern themselves, and where the dignity of a nation’s inhabitants is paramount whether a country is powerful or not.
Our vision in Rwanda is to join our regional partners in strengthening regional infrastructure and beyond for realizing greater integration – which is the pathway for reaping more dividends from globalization.
As noted, the world has the human and material means to achieve these national, regional and global goals – what is needed is fairness and political will to realize this vision.