Events

Remarks by Permanent Representative to the UN, Eugene-Richard Gasana, at the 20th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi at the UN

Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations;

Ambassador Antonio Tete, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN,

Your Excellency Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN,

Excellencies Permanent Representatives to the UN;

Dear Rwandans and friends of Rwanda;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

First of all, allow me to express my profound gratitude to all of you for attending this 20th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, here at the United Nations. I take this opportunity to thank the UN Department of Public Information for its usual assistance to the Mission of Rwanda in the organization of genocide commemorations.

I am also heartened by the participation of the Secretary General, for once again availing himself present to join us, having participated at the launch of Kwibuka 20 in February, as well as his strong presence in Kigali during the national commemoration a week ago. Your leadership, Secretary-General, is restoring confidence in an institution that has failed us in the past.

As you may be aware, this morning, the UN Security Council adopted, unanimously, resolution 2150 on the prevention and fight against genocide, on the occasion of the 20th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed. This resolution is an important legal instrument, as it calls upon all UN members states to recommit to prevent and fight against genocide and other mass atrocities, including by upholding their responsibility to protect, based on lessons learned from the Genocide in Rwanda. I once again thank all Security Council members for this landmark achievement and also for many who have co-sponsored the resolution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Every April, we choose to take the time to remember and honour the memory of the over one million souls slained under the cruel hand of their fellow compatritors. We gather to remember the Tutsi who were killed because of who they were. We remember the Hutus, the Twas and foreign citizens who perished just because they refused to take part in the extermination of the Tutsi or those who were brutally massacred while protecting the Tutsis.

Each year, we continue to choose to revisit this painful past to offer support and comfort to all the survivors. Each year, we also renew our efforts, as Rwandans, to preserve our young generation from future atrocities. For that reason this year, Rwandans remember, Rwandans unite, and Rwandans renew.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Twenty years ago, Rwanda collapsed, destroyed by the hands of its citizens, by the genocide ideology of its leaders and by the indifference or complicity of the international community. Today, Rwanda is reborn from ashes, built by the resolve and efforts of its people, by the vision of its leaders and by the support of the international community.

Twenty years ago, Rwanda succumbed to a 100 rainy days of horror, flooded in the blood of victims and in the tears of survivors. Today, Rwanda emerged and is rather drenched by the sweat of her citizens, rebuilding the country that was destroyed.

Twenty years ago, Rwanda was covered with dead bodies on our streets, in our schools, churches and rivers, and our hearts were filled with hatred for the “other”. Twenty years later, Rwanda is aspiring for a better future and a vision, powered with purity in the minds and hearts of its children.

Twenty years ago, Rwandan women felt victims to rape, the most heinous weapon of war while others were enslaved. Today, Rwandan women stand tall, courageous and resilient, leading the way in political representation and economic empowerment.

Twenty years ago, doctors and nurses were killing patients in our hospitals; teachers were killing students in our schools. Today, universal healthcare and a universal 12-years basic education are a reality in Rwanda.

Twenty years ago, Rwandans were abandoned. First, by its own army killing its own people. Second, abandoned by the international community and, by the UN peacekeepers. Today, Rwanda is responding to those in distress beyond its borders, and is committed to prevent and fight against genocide and other mass atrocities, through its participation in peacekeeping operations and through its continued commitment towards the responsibility to protect.

Twenty years ago, the right to life was denied by Genocide perpetrators. Today, Rwanda is committed to fight all revisionists who have vowed to deny its citizens the right to remember. Rwanda is committed to fight against these forces that continue to obstruct the truth of what happened in 1994 hoping that their sins will slip away in intervening years.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the official commemoration in Kigali, on 7th April this year, President Paul Kagame called upon all of us to remember what happened in 1994 and give each other strength but, “As we do so, [he said] we must also remember the future to which we have committed ourselves”.

This future, ladies and gentlemen, is a united and prosperous Rwanda, reconciled with itself and reconciled with the world and equipped with a moral duty to never let humanity experienced the pain we felt in 1994. It is a future with an international community committed to protect populations under threat of extermination, to fight hate, racism, genocide and other mass atrocities.

With that, let us all pledge to make this day not only an act of remembrance, but let it be a remembrance to act! Because after all, the greatest sin is to be unconscious.

I thank you for your kind attention.

Link to the 20th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi at the UN:http://webtv.un.org/search/20th-commemoration-of-the-rwanda-genocide-memorial-ceremony-at-un-headquarters-in-new-york/3476807529001?term=rwanda

New York Launch of the 20th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

 Kwibuka 20 Logo Centred on Light - CopyThe Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN and the UN Department of Public Information will officialjy launch  the Kwibuka at the UN on Thursday 27, February, 2014 from 3-4:30pm at the UN in conference room 2 (CB)

Kwibuka which means to “remember” in Kinyarwanda is a call on all of us to remember the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; honour those who died as well as comfort and support survivors. Kwibuka20 is a series of events leading up to the twentieth commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, to be held from 7 April to 4 July, 2014.

On Thursday, 27th February, the international community will come together to remember and reflect on the 1994 Genocide and look at lessons learned as to prevent and avert future genocides.

Event Program:

Welcome remarks from Master of Ceremony: Jean Baptiste Rudatsikira, President of the Rwandan Community in NY-NJ and Connecticut Community

Screening of the Kwibuka20  short film: Remember-Unite-Renew

Remarks by H.E. Eugene-Richard GasanaMinister of State in Charge of Cooperation and Permanent Representative to the UN, ;

Remarks by H.E. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General;

Remarks by H.E. John W. Ashe, President of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly;

Remarks by Dr. Gerald Caplan, author of “Rwanda: the Preventable Genocide”;

Testimony by Ms. Immaculée Ilibagiza, Survivor of the 1994 genocide and author of “Left to Tell”;

Lighting of the Kwibuka Flame (Flame of Remembrance)

The event will be live stream on www.webtv.un.org 

 

To RSVP, please click here http://goo.gl/9UNs1K 

For more information, http://kwibuka.org/

 

 

A dinner to honor the new Force Commander for MINUSMA, Major. General Jean-Bosco Kazura

Dinner in Honor of KazuraFollowing the Secretary General’s appointment of Major General Jean Bosco Kazura of Rwanda as the new Force Commander for the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the State Minister in Charge of Cooperation and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the UN, H. E. Eugene-Richard Gasana organized a dinner in his honor.

The new Mission has been tasked to carry out a number of security-related tasks and support political processes in Mali, including assisting the transitional authorities in extending and re-establishing State administration throughout the country. According to the mandate, on 1st of July, the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) will be transferred into MINUSMA.

The dinner included the Permanent Representatives of Mali and of France, AFISMA-troop contributing countries, and UN senior officials including Mr. Herve Ladsous, the Under-Secretary General of UN Peacekeeping Operations as well as Ms. Amerah Haq, the Under- Secretary General  of Field Operations.

Those in attendance exchanged views and experiences of ways forward in supporting MINUSMA and its leadership to achieve its mandate.

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19th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi: Statement by H.E Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

 

Minister Mushikiwabo at the Commemoration of the Genocide Against Tutsi

Your Excellency Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary General;

Excellency Vuk Jeremic, the President of the General Assembly

Excellencies, Permanent Representatives to the UN;

Members of the Rwandan Community here present;

Friends;

We gather here to remember the innocents. Those whose lives were cut short by leaders hell-bent on the pursuit of a bankrupt ideology. More than one million dead in a shocking and vivid display of man’s animosity to man. We have a duty to those we lost to honor their memories, and we do so solemnly this evening. But our obligation runs deeper still.

A faithful reckoning with the events of 1994 — an unblinking assessment of what took place, why, and by whom — is essential if we want to prevent such horrors from occurring again.

This is why Rwandans will not bow down in the face of efforts to minimize, misrepresent or otherwise trivialize the genocide. We do that for those we lost, for those who survived, for generations yet to come.

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19th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi

The 19th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi will be themed “Striving for Self-Reliance” with the official commemoration week starting 7th of April and ending on the 13th of April. The national commemoration will be a time for all Rwandans to remember and honour the one million innocent lives lost during the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

Honoring the dead

The 19th Commemoration will also mark the first year the color grey will serve as the official mourning color- a symbol of loss and mourning in Rwandan culture. To ensure that all Rwandans participate and own Commemoration activities, this year’s ceremonies will be held at the community levels.

In New York, the United Nations in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN will hold a memorial ceremony on 15 April, attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikwabo and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, among other guests.

The event will be webcast live on : www.webtv.un.org