06 April 2014

Remarks to the press following his meeting with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

Ban Ki-moon

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.