Alice Wairimu Nderitu of Kenya was appointed as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on 10 November 2020. Karen Smith, a South African citizen, was appointed as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on 7 January 2019. The mandates of the two Special Advisers are distinct but complementary.
The Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations focuses on preventing genocide by learning the lessons of the genocide in order to help prevent similar acts in the future, and supporting survivors, by raising awareness of the lasting impact of the genocide, particularly on widows, orphans and victims of sexual violence, and the challenges that they still face today.
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.