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Message on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide

Statement attributable to the President of the General Assembly

United Nations, New York, 7 April 2014

This year, the international community commemorates the 20th anniversary of one of the great human sorrows of our time: the Rwandan Genocide. The 100 days of unspeakable violence that took place in 1994 and the failure of the international community to respond to the cries of the many victims of this atrocity still haunts the world today.

On this day, I encourage Member States, civil society and other stakeholders to honour the memory of those who were needlessly and mercilessly killed solely because of their ethnic identity. We must continue to support those who survived this tragedy and still suffer from its effects.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which was established by the United Nations General Assembly twenty years ago, has served as a key institution set up to ensure that there would be consequences for the perpetrators of such atrocities. I encourage the international community to maintain steadfast support for the tribunal so that Rwanda's progress toward peace and reconciliation can be sustained.

Since 2004, the General Assembly has annually renewed its commitment to supporting the survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and it did so again last December, noting that orphans, widows and victims of sexual violence are particularly in need of assistance.

Twenty years after the tragedy, many challenges remain and the country still requires strong support from the international community to help victims in areas such as housing, healthcare, welfare and education.

As we commemorate this day and honour those who perished, let us each take today's message to heart: remember, unite, renew.