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18th Commemoration of the Genocide in Rwanda

Secretary-General's Message for 2012

Today, we mark the 18th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.  We remember the more than 800,000 innocent people who lost their lives.  

This year’s theme is "learning from history to shape a bright future". Rwanda has learned from the appalling tragedy of 1994.  So has the world.

Rwanda is making progress towards building a more peaceful and just society.  The international community is striving to ensure that similar tragedies never happen again.

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda delivered the first-ever verdicts in relation to genocide by an international court, and continues to pursue justice and accountability. The International Criminal Court has become an effective deterrent for would-be perpetrators of grave crimes.

To all those around the world who persist in suppressing their fellow citizens crying out for dignity and freedom, we send a clear message: justice will be done.  Impunity must become a relic of the past.

We are also working to strengthen conflict prevention and mediation, and to uphold the responsibility to protect.

Preventing genocide is a collective obligation. Let us continue to work together to ensure a future forever free of genocide. This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honour the resilience of the survivors.

Ban Ki-moon

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