Secretary-General, Commemorating 1994 Rwanda Genocide, Urges World to Reject Hate Speech, Forces of Polarization

SG/SM/20036
6 April 2020

Secretary-General, Commemorating 1994 Rwanda Genocide, Urges World to Reject Hate Speech, Forces of Polarization

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, observed on 7 April:

Today, we recall the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda — when more than 1 million people were systematically murdered in just 100 days.  The victims were overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also included Hutu and others who opposed the genocide.

On this Day, we honour those who were killed.  And we gain inspiration from the capacity of those who survived for reconciliation and restoration.

We must never again let such an atrocity occur.  We must say no to hate speech and xenophobia, and reject the forces of polarization, nationalism and protectionism.  Only by recognizing that we are all one human family sharing the same planet will we be able to rise to the many global challenges that confront us — from COVID-19 to climate change.

Since the genocide, Rwanda has demonstrated that it is possible to rise from the ashes, to heal and to rebuild a stronger, more sustainable society.   As we look ahead to accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, let us take inspiration from the ongoing lesson of Rwanda.

For information media. Not an official record.