Today, we mark the 18th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. We remember the more than 800,000 innocent people who lost their lives.
This year’s theme is “learning from history to shape a bright future”.
Rwanda has learned from the appalling tragedy of 1994.
So has the world.
Rwanda is making progress towards building a more peaceful and just society.
The international community is striving to ensure that similar tragedies never happen again.
The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda delivered the first-ever verdicts in relation to genocide by an international court, and continues to pursue justice and accountability.
The International Criminal Court has become an effective deterrent for would-be perpetrators of grave crimes.
And to those who persist in suppressing their fellow citizens who cry out for dignity and freedom, we send a clear message: justice will be done.
Impunity must become a relic of the past.
We are also working to strengthen conflict prevention and mediation, and to uphold the responsibility to protect.
Preventing genocide is a collective responsibility. Let us continue to work together to ensure a future forever free of genocide.
This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honour the resilience of the survivors.