Rwanda: from the ashes of genocide towards a more peaceful and just society

The UN Country Team commemorated the 19th International Day of the Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide on 9 May 2013 in Harare.

The commemoration, held in line with the General Assembly resolution A/RES/60/225, was to remember the over 800,000 innocent people who lost their lives. It was also meant to reflect on preventing future acts of genocide and to raise awareness of the impact of genocide on the survivors.

At the event, Mr. Alain Noudehou, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said, “Let us work together in an inclusive and equitable manner to ensure that peace prevails in our families, communities and nations. Working together in a spirit of shared responsibility is the way to solve the developmental challenges of our times”. Noting that wars and conflicts never have winners, the Resident Coordinator said, “It is only the brave and the caring who look to non-violent options to negotiate, mediate and even compromise”.

The event was flanked with video messages, a candle lighting ceremony and presentations from youth members of the Rwanda Diaspora Community in Zimbabwe.

“Out of the ashes of the genocide, Rwanda has forged a new path, progressing towards a more peaceful and just society. I encourage the people and Government of Rwanda to continue promoting the inclusive spirit and dialogue necessary for healing, reconciliation and reconstruction”, said the UN Secretary General in his global message on the commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide.

The event ended with a vote of thanks from Mr. Jean Baptiste, Representative of the Rwanda Diaspora Community in Zimbabwe. In his remarks, Mr. Baptiste said, “As Rwandans, we are very much aware of the support that the international community, led by the UN, continues to render to Rwanda towards building a more peaceful and just society, and to ensure that similar tragedies never happen again in Rwanda and the world over.”