The United Nations General Assembly adopted the decision to designate April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, in a bid to correct inaccuracies in the Assembly’s 2003 resolution’s title and operative first paragraph
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the decision to designate April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, in a bid to correct inaccuracies in the Assembly’s 2003 resolution’s title and operative first paragraph.
Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Valentine Rugwabiza, said that the decision does not modify other parts of the resolution, but rather captures the historical facts of the 1994 genocide and removes ambiguity.
She added that the tactics of denial and revisionism were well documented, with some people promoting the theory of double genocide in an attempt to divert their own responsibility.
The more than 1 million victims belonged to a group that was dehumanised and targeted for total extermination, and were killed in the most horrific way, she asserted.
The Day of Reflection, she concluded, offered the chance to consider the factors leading to such mass atrocity and to renew the pledge of “never again” in a time of growing expressions of extremism and hate around the world.
In this way, Rugwabiza said, the United Nations is sending a clear message as a platform for promoting human dignity for all.
United States Permanent Representative Kelley Eckels-Currie said that the US will support continuation of the International Day, which gives the opportunity to recommit to protecting the vulnerable and to uphold human dignity.
She added that the US was committed to preserving the evidence of the genocide, but expressed concern that the latest changes did not the capture the scale of the violence as the language omits the Hutu and many others, who were murdered for opposing the atrocities being committed.
European Union delegate Eric Chaboureau similarly expressed regret on the failed consensus to commemorate the Hutu and others also killed during the genocide.
Anatolio Ndong Mba, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the world would not live up to its pledge to ensure no other country endured what Rwanda had unless the lessons learned were remembered.
He added that national legislation and Assembly resolutions were imperative to rejecting negation or revisionism of the Rwandan genocide, as was the bringing of justice against perpetrators remaining at large in Europe and North America.