Secretary-General's remarks at Gisozi Genocide Memorial [as prepared for delivery]
Kigali, Rwanda, 23 May 2013
This is my third visit, and the second time as Secretary-General.
Each time I have been moved to tears.
Last month I attended a solemn commemoration of the Rwandan genocide in New York.
We paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people murdered simply because of their identity.
And we acknowledged the courage and -- in many cases -- sacrifice of those who tried to shelter the victims and resist the killing.
This memorial stands on sacred ground where a quarter of a million people lie buried.
The scale of the massacre almost defies comprehension.
That is why this memorial is so important.
The world must never be allowed to forget the savage potential that lingers in the human heart.
We have seen far too often in our time.
We must always be on guard.
Today I worry deeply about events in Syria.
I have asked repeatedly for the international community to unite to prevent the tragedy we see deepening each day.
We failed in Rwanda.
But you are writing a different future.
World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim and I are here to support you.
We want to see peace and development throughout the Great Lakes region.
I commend the people of Rwanda for your brave recovery.
In less than two decades you have reconciled and rebuilt.
You stand as an example of humanity’s capacity for human compassion and forgiveness.
This memorial serves both as a warning and as a symbol of hope.
Today I am moved, and I am inspired.
Let us all be inspired.
Let us work together to build a world where all can live in security and dignity, proud of who they are, wherever they are.
Statements on 23 May 2013
- New York, 23 May 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the attacks in Niger
- Kigali, Rwanda, 23 May 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at ceremony for the Centre of Excellence for the Fight Against Violence Against Women and Children [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 23 May 2013 - Secretary-General's message on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula