06 April 2014

Remarks of the Secretary-General following his meeting with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame

It is a great pleasure for me to visit Rwanda many times, but this time, I am visiting with much more solemn and firm, determined will to learn more and to disseminate the lessons of Rwandan Genocide which happened 20 years ago.

Tomorrow, in the ceremony, I am going to pay my deepest tribute to the families and relatives of those victims.  At the same time, I am going to reaffirm the international community’s strong commitment that “never again” - this should never happen in human history.

We have learned the tragic and hard lessons from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, another one repeated just one year after in Srebrenica in 1995. There are still, there may be some symptoms somewhere. We have to prevent such intolerable genocide, atrocities.

Last Monday, in Brussels, there was [a] very important international conference on prevention of Genocide, where Rwanda was represented by Foreign Minister [Louise] Mushikiwabo and I also did [participate].  There was a firm, resolute, determined will of the international community [that] reaffirmed again that there should be no such genocide in the name of humanity. And I highly commend the leadership of President Paul Kagame who led this country [from] such a tragic genocide in just 20 years, made shining examples of socioeconomic development and also of democracy, protecting and preserving human rights of all the people.

I hope that these shining examples will be emulated by many other countries.

We have to learn the lessons.  Learning the lesson itself is important but how to translate it into action - that would be more important, that is what I am committed as the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Thank you.

Q: We have got the Central African Republic.  We have got South Sudan. Has Africa really learned? Has the world really learned?

SG: I came from a visit to Bangui in the Central African [Republic] yesterday. The situation [there] is very worrisome. That is why I was there to demonstrate the strong solidarity of the United Nations, of the international community, to bring, first of all, peace and stability of that country.  And based on that, we have to also help the Central African people to build their own society, [socioeconomically].  And there is serious violation of human rights.  We have to save the lives of civilian population: women, children and Muslims… Regardless of their ethnicities, beliefs, age and sex, the human rights must be protected.

I hope that the Security Council will take action as soon as possible on my recommendation to establish a peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic to bring peace and stability, first of all, and to restore institutions and help these people - that’s our strong commitment.

On South Soudan, we are also working very closely with the African Union.  We have President Paul Kagame as one of the great African leaders who have been contributing greatly to the peace and stability there.  We will continue to work for peace and stability and development there.

Thank you.