28 October 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

At Phnom Penh Genocide Museum, Secretary-General Says Cambodian People’s Courage

‘Sends a Powerful Message to the World — That There Can Be No Impunity’


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks after visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, in Phnom Penh, 28 October:

Thirty years have passed. Yet here, in this tragic place, we still hear the echoes. The cries of human misery. The agony. The deadly silence of so many lives, lost so brutally.

We see their faces. And tears still fall.  Humbly, and with great sorrow, we do more than remember. The people of Cambodia seek, and deserve, justice. That is why an entire nation watched the trial of the man who ran this prison.   The conviction of Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was a milestone in Cambodia’s journey for justice.

We know it is difficult to relive this terrible chapter in your history. But I want you to know: Your courage sends a powerful message to the world — that there can be no impunity, that crimes against humanity shall not go unpunished. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is showing that.

I will never forget my visit here today. In this place of horror, ladies and gentlemen, let the human spirit triumph. Words cannot do justice. But we can. Thank you, people of Cambodia, for leading the way.

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For information media • not an official record